There is a new New Jersey Film Tax Credit bill being negotiated and making its way into the state legislature. Titled ‘Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act’, the bill will provide in-state productions with a 30 percent tax credit for qualified film production expenses. If approved, the bill will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Productions must spend 60 percent of their total film production expenses in New Jersey, or spend an amount exceeding $1,000,000 in the state to qualify. Furthermore, it will provide a 20 percent tax credit for qualified digital media content production expenses given that at least 50 percent of the expenses are for wages and salaries and that the total expenses exceed $2,000,000.
A 20% tax credit program was created previously in 2005 in an effort to boost the growing film and TV production industry in New Jersey. With New Jersey’s wide range of neighborhoods, shooting locations and close proximity to New York, it seemed like the perfect location for the film industry to prosper. However, it was soon overturned in 2011 by the previous Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. With the new governor of New Jersey in office, it looks like the state’s film industry will once again have a chance to prosper.
Film tax credits have proved to be successful in other states. Over the past decade, Georgia has handed out more than $1 billion in tax credits to movie and TV production companies. The generous tax credit attracted movie franchises such “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Fast and Furious”, and major TV productions in the state such as “The Walking Dead” and “Stranger Things.” In return for its generous involvement, Georgia received billions of dollars of direct and indirect economic activity. If it wasn’t for the tax credit, series such as “The Walking Dead” may not have seen the light of day in Georgia.
The neighboring state of New York is a big film destination outside of Hollywood as well. New York’s $420 million film incentive program is also one of the best in the nation, and offers credit for both film and post production. Since its start in 2011, the film and television productions have spent up to $19.3 billion within the state, and generated an estimated 1,160,917 hires. While New York’s iconic look is a big plus, the tax credit program is one of the major reasons for the growth and success of the film industry in New York.
Phil Murphy, the current governor has previously voiced his support for the return of film tax credits to New Jersey during his campaign. With the bill for ‘Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act’ in place, supporters hope that it will be passed this March and taken into effect by July 1, 2018. When it does pass, Parlay Studios will be ready and available for the influx of productions to enter New Jersey. Track the status of the bill here.
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