Wolf’s budget proposal maintains Pennsylvania film tax credit program

Reporter- Pittsburgh Business Times

The Pennsylvania film tax credit looks like it will live on under Gov. Tom Wolf.

Wolf’s first budget proposal, announced Tuesday, maintains the film tax credit at its current $60 million a year.

Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer expressed gratitude for the continuation of the program that has leveraged $100 million in annual film production in the region, while also hoping for more.

“I was glad that we were still in there for $60 million,” she said. “I’m hopeful that they’ll raise it substantially because our program is over-subscribed every year.”

Keezer said there are two television series shooting in the region right now, the fourth season of the Cinemax production “Banshee,” and the Sony production of a new show called “The Outsiders” with prospects for others coming here as well. The shooting of “Banshee,” which is set in Pennsylvania, came here after the state of North Carolina eliminated its film tax credit program and the production was forced to move.

“We’ve never had two television shows shooting simultaneously,” said Keezer. There’s another interested, too.

The region’s film production industry has operated under a status quo for the last few years in which the tax credits go quickly.

Keezer said Wolf’s first budget, in which the administration proposes maintaining the $60 million level through the rest of the decade, marks the first time the local film industry has had any sense of the new governor’s leanings regarding the film tax credit.

“Nobody knew until today when they saw the numbers in the budget,” she said.

She acknowledged that the film tax credit program can seem like a minor issue when compared to the list of major proposals Wolf is pursuing, whether a severance tax for natural gas production, education funding and major plans to reorganize Pennsylvania’s tax structure.


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