Concerns Over Losing State’s Film Tax Credit Grow

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh has been the backdrop of several major movies and the presence of film crews has meant big bucks to the region, but all that could change.

In the past 20 years, there have been more than 100 films shot and produced in Western Pennsylvania, not just putting our region on the big screen, but bringing a lot of money to the area.

However, that could all disappear early next month if the state’s film tax credit goes away, and right now it’s up to the governor.

For more coverage of the awards show in Hollywood, visit this link!

The night of the Oscars has taken on new meaning across the state since so many movies are now being shot in the area.

“Here in Western Pennsylvania alone, we’re over 4,000 jobs, direct jobs in the industry. Our I.A.T.S.E. (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) union crew base is over 4,000 strong,” said Dawn Keezer, of the Pittsburgh Film Office. “So, these people depend on this industry for their livelihood.”

Even though the night of the Oscars is traditionally about celebrating films, there was a cloud hanging over Sunday night’s gala at Stage AE for the Highmark presents “Lights! Glamour! Action!” event to benefit the Pittsburgh Film Office.

That’s because the state’s film tax credit program could go away after March 8, and bring a grinding halt to film production across the state.

“There are 42 states vying for this film work,” said David Haddad, of Haddad’s Inc. “If we want to create an infrastructure, if we want to create jobs that stay within our state, we have to provide the incentive to be competitive.”

The Pittsburgh Film Office works to attract those films to this region.

The party Sunday evening was a fundraiser to help support those efforts and some of the auction items reflected recent films made in the area from “Unstoppable” to “Locke and Key,” which is currently shooting in Pittsburgh.

Supporters say it’s not just the film crews that will be affected if the money goes away, but related support businesses reap the benefits as well.

“Enterprise Car Rentals, Paul’s Lumber Yard, the dry cleaning services, all those ancillary services that movies use that no one thinks about as being in the movie business,” said Keezer, “they’ve all been making money off this industry and we need it to continue.”

There are high hopes that the next “Batman” movie could be shot in Pittsburgh, but that too could go away, if the film credit disappears after the governor’s budget address on March 8.

More Oscars Coverage
Pittsburgh Film Office on Facebook
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
Support PA Film Tax Credit
Pa. Might Eliminate Film Tax Credit
Oscar’s Ties To Pittsburgh
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  • paul

    let people lose bus service and give tax credits to millionaire movie companies—get real—more jobs will be lost by people not getting to work and the unemployed PAT workers, more drain on unemployment

    • tmh

      hmm, yes your right lets loose both, because i know like you know that it’s been the movie industries fault. i mean they have for years and years spent way more money than they bring in !!! Oh wait that’s PAT that for the last 20 + years has spent more than they bring in even if you include the money given too them from the lottery. wow the movies for the most part weren’t around when PAT was spending millions now billions more than they have or will make. so paul i agree no movies and all of their benefits, that will fix PAT. so go get them paul and I’ve got your back, we both know it’s really Bush’s fault.
      Paul, the fact is PAT was in big trouble long before the movies started filming around here on a regular basis and even with the tax break for the film industry our area still benefits greatly. Let’s do the math.

      PAT before the movies = broke
      PAT after the movies =broke
      Business small and large, taxes before movies = less
      Business small and large, taxes after movies = more
      Owners and workers spending before movies = less
      After = more

    • Rudy

      Tax credits to movie companies and bailouts for PAT are two different things.

      A tax credit comes down to the state not receiving some taxes; a bailout is the state spending money to prop something up.

      With the tax credit in place, movie companies can shoot movies here cheaper because of the 25% tax credit given by the state, so the state collects a little bit less in taxes. Remove the tax credit, and if the movie companies decide to shoot their movie to another state, the state receives $0 of the movie company’s spend.

      Taken a different way, here’s an analogy: you are the breadwinner in the family; you have a spouse who spends lots of money. Now comes the time where you spouse tells you that he/she needs more money from you to pay off credit card charges, at the same time in these hard economic times your employer asks you to take a pay cut. You love your spouse and you don’t want to disappoint your spouse so you pony up the requested money, but you are adamant that you will not give up one cent to your large company employer. So the company decides that they can’t afford you, and replace you leaving you with no job.

      Same principle: one side is pure spend (PAT and spouse), the other side in reduction in take (tax credit and pay cut.)

  • Wake up Mr Governor

    Imagine if they took all the welfare budget and switched it to the film tax credit? We could give all those people respectable living-wage jobs in an industry that they would love to wake up and rush to the rest of their days. The tax credit should not be cut. It should be tripled.

    • VINNY


      • JAUN


  • Lui

    Why would any one in their right might mind even considering ending the tax cut.

    The Governor being a Republican will probably do away with the tax cut because it provides jobs to the working class. One thing we know, the Republicans don’t care about U.S.

  • The Hand That Feeds You

    the publicity alone is worth the money. The jobs and resulting taxes collected are just gravy. Cutting this tax credit is so dumb that only a politician would consider it.

  • Shawn

    Tom corbett he’s a fool; cant believe you reb. Voted this loser into office smfh!

  • Vince

    If my memory serves me right I think it’s the progressives that want to raise taxes. I guess just on every one else except liberal Hollywood.

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