Pittsburgh Film Office launches 5-year tax incentive program


PITTSBURGH, Pa —Since 2010, 42 movies were shot on Pittsburgh streets and the surrounding area. When cameras roll, money pours into the region, but film industry experts say the city hasn’t even reached its potential.

Industry observers joined the Pittsburgh Film Office in launching a lobbying campaign to create a longer tax incentive program for production companies to produce movies here.

Currently, the state Legislature provides for tax incentives annually, when reconstructing the budget, but industry insiders say that makes it difficult for production companies to create long-range planning when targeting Pittsburgh as a primary movie location.

The end result, is Pittsburgh is missing out on millions of dollars that could be pumped into the local economy.

The solution: “Create a little consistency and say we have it for a certain amount of years.  Say it’s 3 or 5, give them some stability,” state Sen. Kim Ward of the 39th District said.

The Pittsburgh Film Office said the movie industry has pushed $1 billion into the local economy since 1990, but that can be easily surpassed if a multi-year tax incentive is created for movie companies, rather than the year-to-year process that’s used currently, “We take that and expand it a little more and we can break out like gang busters if we approve the 5 year tax credit,” Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer said.

With multi-year tax incentives, Mayor Bill Peduto believes Pittsburgh can become one of the leading media and entertainment centers in North America.

“Pittsburgh has the ability to be a global and innovation leader when it comes to film and technology industries,” Poeduto said.


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