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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Bust on PA's Entertainment Boom so Soon?

Yes, it’s true that our country is going through it's fair share of economic troubles and yes, it is our government's job to help make things right. However, some Pennsylvania lawmakers are stirring up controversy by wanting to remove the state's tax incentive program for filmmakers.

There is a $75 million tax incentive that allows movie and television productions that spend around 60 percent of their budgets in the state to receive up to 25 percent back in tax credit. Although it could seem like a slightly indulgent way for the film industry to make a little something back for manufacturing their movies and TV shows here, lawmakers should step back and take a closer look at the bigger picture.

With over 30 states holding similar incentives for the film industry, Pennsylvania has been standing comfortably within the top 5 states in attracting Hollywood business in an aggressively competitive field. With a steady stream of motion pictures pouring into the state, numerous businesses both locally owned and corporate have seen a constant increase in revenue, and will continue to do so as long as the product remains here. Some colleges have even begun offering new programs to train students for work in the film industry. With an abundant amount of crew and stagehands for the industry being hired straight from Pennsylvania, a dozen production sites and companies having been launched providing many job opportunities, as well as over $50 million in local spending, and some 25,000 hotel room nights in just one year in Southwestern Pennsylvania alone. These numbers are just the tip of the proverbial iceburg too, making it seem like the state's lawmakers are overlooking more than one positive outcome they’d be taking away from the area and the people involved in the industry.

Not only that, but cast and crew members usually live in the area where they are filming for the duration of the time, so they not only need basic necessities like groceries and clothing, but night outings, rental vehicles and haircuts are usually on their list as well. So, without the tax incentives all of this business would go somewhere else.

With a number of people who work in or around the industry writing to local newspapers complaining, and union members asking friends on the net to support the film industry and send their concerns about the revoke straight to the responsible lawmakers offices, it would seem that the majority rule is giving the idea two big fat thumbs down!


*by Candace who wishes she could remember where she put her bowl of jello!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Candace is modern day Shakespeare...Her writing style is classic...I want more blogs from Candace and I want them now...keep up the great work! and i'll keep reading!

Anonymous said...

This is fairly accurate and as someone being affected by the cut I respect Candace's act of getting this out there and her support on the subject! thank you girl

Planet Verge magazine said...

Thank you Anonymous readers! the feedback is greatly apperciated!

Anonymous said...

I think it is very important to PA's economy for the government to offer incentive to the entertainment industry. It is a shame lawmakers cant see past the end of their noses to see that their tax incentive to the entertainment industry is stimulating the local economy. Great Informative Article Candace!!!

Rachael said...

I agree! As a Pa resident and someone in the entertainment industry this affects me!!! I think these lawmakers need a smack in the head! The entertainment industry in Pittsburgh is growing rapidly and providing jobs for people! It's definitely stimulating the economy. I go to the movies like 24/7 and people still go...it doesn't seem like it's changed since this whole crisis started, so why take a away something valuable? AND an asset to a community! BLAH! I Love Candace by the way!

Dave August said...

As a less than part-time actor, full time entertainer, and lifelong resident of PA, I would have to say that PA government would be making a huge mistake in thinking that moviemakers would continue to use our state if those incentives go away. It's all about the bottom line and if PA won't help a movie company lessen theirs, another state one would be happy to oblige them. We live in a great state, don't get me wrong, but that'smost likely not the real reason moviemakers shoot here. Keep it real PA, and keep the incentives in place! Informative blog!

Geo Bennett said...

Very good info, and a great way to get it to people who might be unaware. The people in the industry here in PA have spent years cultivating the ties and reputation they have for being a great place to bring this type of work; it would be a sin for all of that to be taken away by a select few that lack vision.

Kris said...

Candace is right on the "money" with this info on the Tax incentives for FILM in PGH !
When are the government stuffed shirts going to get it? It's not ALLABOUT YOU!
The dollars the film folks bring into the area as a total package as well the opportunity they bring to our local workers/ actors/extras/ crew etc. are what we really need- not more money for the government to waste!

Zac said...

This is great information! For some reason, I'm not surprised at our government's decisions. Thanks for the info! Keep it up :)

Sue said...

Candice stated what all of us have been thinking. I wish I had her way with word. Kudos!