TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senators John H. Adler and Joseph V. Doria which would encourage filmmakers to shoot in New Jersey by offering a tax credit was approved today by the full Senate by a vote of 31-5.
“There are so many benefits to having a movie shot right in our backyards,” said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill. “By drawing filmmakers here, and keeping them here for most of their project, we will see greater tourism potential, increased local revenues, and a greater sense of pride in our State.”
“Other states in the nation provide incentives to bring in film projects. We have to maintain a competitive environment to keep projects here,” said Senator Doria, D-Hudson. “New Jersey offers so much in the way of locational benefits to make the Garden State a desirable filming destination, situated between two major metropolitan areas and with a wide variety of landscapes in which to film. Now, we’re stepping up with financial incentives as well.”
The bill, S-2533, would provide a tax credit, of up to 20 percent, to businesses under both the corporate business tax and gross income tax, for certain film production expenses that take place in New Jersey. The credit would only be available if 60 percent of the total production costs are incurred in New Jersey, and shooting must begin within 150 days after approval of a credit application. The credit would be applicable to the production of a feature film, television series or television show that is created for a national audience.
“Twenty-nine other states are already offering some sort of film incentive,” said Senator Adler. “The film industry is a multimillion dollar business in New Jersey, and if it means spending money to make money, then this tax credit is still a good investment.”
“We currently have a number of projects filming in the Garden State, with TV series like Law and Order and the Sopranos, and film projects coming in weekly,” said Senator Doria. “We cannot afford to lose these projects because New York or Pennsylvania can offer a better deal on tax credits. Having a movie made in New Jersey is worth so much more than just bragging rights, and with this tax credit, we will be able to bring revenue into the State.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration, before going to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.