Pa. Might Eliminate Film Tax Credit

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – “The Next Three Days” was one of three feature films shooting in the Pittsburgh area simultaneously in 2009.

Jake Gyllenhall and Anne Hathaway’s “Love and other Drugs” and Denzel Washington’s “Unstoppable” were the other two.

“People were talking about buying homes here that were from LA. They were actually looking over on the South Side,” says Cassie Ross Eccles, a film worker and Secretary of IATSE Union Local 489.

“Southwestern Pennsylvania is always one of the locations that people look for because of our good crew base and out great locations and due to the film tax credit program,” Jessica Conner, of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said.

But a lot of movie making might evaporate if Governor Tom Corbett cancels the state’s film tax credit.

“If the tax goes away, the incentive goes away, they won’t be here and we will not get that money,” adds Eccles.

Over the past 20 years, the more than 100 films made here have pumped $565 million into the economy.
If the movie business dries up here, the loss goes beyond the film workers.

“We have thousands of vendors just here Pittsburgh as well as Philadelphia and all the spaces in between that we spend money on – astronomical amounts of money,” says Mamie Stein, also of IATSE Union Local 489.

What about rumors that the Caped Crusader might come here to shoot “The Dark Knight Rises” in Pittsburgh?

A photo of the movie’s director, Christopher Nolan, was reportedly snapped on Smithfield Street last Friday, but could we lose out because of that tax credit?

Not everyone is in favor of the film tax credit, especially in a tight budget.

In a statement, the Commonwealth Foundation in Harrisburg says in part: “Pennsylvania’s film tax credit isn’t generating economic growth. The corporate welfare for Hollywood studios doesn’t ‘create’ any jobs in Pennsylvania, but shifts economic activity from one area to another. Most importantly, a tax break for one industry requires higher taxes on everyone else.”

Support PA Film Tax Credit
Commonwealth Foundation

  • Jason Sandmeyer

    Of course it creates jobs. One reason these studios love Pittsburgh so much is because they don’t have to bring their own crew, because PIttsburgh has an incredible amount of qualified crew locally, and they don’t have to pay for accommodation of their own crew. The second reason is obviously these tax credits. Without these tax credits they will find other locations outside of the state. The businesses, restaurants, hotels, movers, and crew in those states will reap the benefits of the millions of dollars that production will spend, when it could’ve been spent here. It’s money the state otherwise will not have — and all they have to do is give the studio back some of the sales tax they paid (as long as the production commits to spending 60% of its budget here). How can they honestly say they are not making money from this?

  • Teresa Warnick Vinisky

    People are always so ready to stick it to big business, they don’t think about the impact. These film crews bring a great amount of money to our area and keep many employed. We have a great area for movies with our abandoned buildings/factories. Our unused train tracks. Film makers rented over 2k hotel rooms in 2010. Those people rented cars, ate out, shopped…

  • Ashley

    So, you’re trying to say that this doesn’t create jobs? Okay, tell that to the 300 plus people who extra’d with the PIrates in Abduction. Tell that the PIrates, who Abduction purchased sections of tickets from. Let’s tell all of the crew members that they didn’t have jobs. They were just pretending to have these jobs and they never really existed. With Detroit being in the same bubble as Pittsburgh, films are going to try to film elsewhere. Now is not the time to pull out of this business because in the future if someone wants to start this tax up again, people are going to be hesitant to film here. Pittsburgh alone is being considered a new Hollywood and Corbett said when he was running for governor that he wasn’t going to eliminate this. I sure as hell didn’t vote for him and if he goes back on his word then I’m sure others will regret voting for him if they did. Not only is that going to anger some people, but it’s going to cause people like myself to move out of PA because the work just isn’t here for us.

  • RAY

    OK lets follow this thru….the tax credit is on money they wold spend/make ONLY due to the enterprise of making a film……SOO no credit— no film—— therefore there is NOTHING to Tax because they wont be here MAKING a MOVIE here and making or spending money This Commonwealth Foundation must be a bunch of “teabaggers” who have gone over the edge…but I repeat myself to be a teabagger you have to be over the edge……………………..

  • Jude

    I wonder when they mean “create jobs” if they were saying that it generates business for a brief period. Sure you can be an extra on one film, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be in every movie due to location or availability. It seems that the money just doesn’t roll in on a regular basis to pay all your bills at once.

  • Shawn

    Tom corbett will ruin PA sooner than later i knew he was going to be horrible governor. And here is the proof.

  • Jeff Simmons

    I hope the people that voted for this idiot are happy now, this i only the beginning

  • Anonymous

    I stayed at the Omni Hotel this summer for 66 nights while filming a movie in your city this past summer. Add up the 66 nights, the meals for those days, and the gasoline purchased in your area. The laundry I paid for. The stores I shopped in. Now multiply that by the 40 or so other people also came from elsewhere to film in your city. Then add in the hundreds of others that were employed on my film spending money on catering, lumber, paint, and other supplies. Then multiply all of that by three since there were two other movies filming concurrently. That’s a lot of money you stand to lose if you don’t pass your tax credit. Good luck and thanks for the wonderful experience I had in your city.

  • Shawn

    Agree^ tom corbett is a idiot! You see there are only nine comments because all the republicans on this kdka forum voted for this fool!!!

  • Illuminator

    Is it acceptable, then, to have Marcellus Shale workers from Texas and Oklahoma fill up our hotels, buy food and gas and produce a product that we all use in one form or another without a severance tax? Would the lack of a severance tax equate to a film tax credit? Wouldn’t we end up paying that tax on the product produced? After all, if we follow through with a plan like was introduced last legislative session that provides for a higher tax than the surrounding states and drivve even some of the business out of PA, that will impact us badly, right? And buying pipe, fabrication service and other business related items that support higher wages than hospitality does isn’t something we should support? Or does that lead to road damage, etc that we’ll pay for in higher taxes?
    Folks, we are 4 billion dollars ishort of balancing our state budget, but don’t gore my ox, OK?

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