HARRISBURG, March 6, 2013 – As lawmakers debate the future of Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program, state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) has reintroduced a plan that would bring in revenue and create jobs in a brand new market in the Commonwealth – the video game industry.
During last week’s budget hearing, lawmakers and representatives from the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) discussed Pennsylvania’s film tax credit, a program that encourages film production in the Commonwealth. The program is capped at $60 million and is currently unable to provide tax credits for additional films this year. Supporters call for an increase in funding for the program – or to remove the cap and provide unlimited funding to film companies – so that industry here in Pennsylvania may continue to prosper.
Leach, a supporter of the film tax credit who is advocating for increased funding, said that his Video Game Tax Production Credit Bill (S.B. 214) serves as a natural progression that would help make our state a destination for entertainment companies by encouraging them to come here to create both films and games.
“The video game industry is a new and exciting market that Pennsylvania could benefit from tapping into,” Leach said. “By providing benefits to gaming companies that we currently offer to film studios, we will experience a growth in revenue and job creation in a completely new arena.”
Under the plan, the state would provide a video game tax credit to gaming companies that relocate to Pennsylvania. The credits would be given per employee hired, for relocation expenses, for capital expenditures and infrastructure expenses, for real estate costs and for in-state company expenditures.
According to DCED, Pennsylvania has provided approximately $300 million in state tax credits to production companies since the film tax credit program began in 2007. Those companies in turn have created more than 18,000 jobs and brought in more than $4 billion dollars in direct and indirect revenue. Leach noted that a video game production tax credit would only add to that success here in our state, and would in fact allow gaming companies to become a permanent addition to Pennsylvania’s business landscape.
“While we love recruiting film crews here to Pennsylvania, an unfortunate aspect of the business dictates that once they’re finished working, they must pack up and leave,” Leach said. “Gaming companies, unlike film crews, do not need to leave an area after creating a game. The video game production tax credit would encourage companies to make a permanent move, to live and work here as long as they’d like, creating jobs and contributing to the state’s economy.”
S.B. 214 awaits consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.