Legislation covers features, TV series

HOLLYWOOD — Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell has signed a bill providing a 20% tax credit for production expenses incurred in the state for producers spending at least 60% of their budget shooting in the Keystone State.

“Filmmakers continue to discover that Pennsylvania is an ideal location for film production,” Rendell said at a news conference Tuesday at the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania officials had grown increasingly concerned in recent years about the state’s ability to compete for projects with states such as Illinois, Louisiana and New Mexico that offer tax credit incentives. Last major feature shot in the Pittsburgh area was “The Mothman Prophecies” in 2001; “Shadowboxer,” “White Men Can’t Rap” and In Her Shoes” were shot in Philadelphia this year.

The legislation, House Bill 147, covers features, TV series and TV shows of 15 minutes or more in length, intended for a national audience. Eligible production expenses include wages and salaries, construction, operations, editing, photography, sound synchronization, lighting, wardrobe and accessories and the cost of rental of facilities and equipment; marketing and advertising costs cannot be applied toward the credit.

Bill also provides that if producers can’t use the entire amount of the credit for the taxable year in which it was first approved, the excess may be carried over to the next three years. The credit can also be sold or assigned.

“The crucial carryover component will allow Pennsylvania’s budding filmmakers who may not yet have a tax liability to sell or assign their unused credits for cash to qualified taxpayers,” Rendell said. “The increased cash flow will allow the developing filmmakers to continue or even increase their film production work flow.”

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