Assembly Approves Democratic Legislation to Expand NJ Film Tax Credit

Johnson, Garcia, Vainieri Huttle, Lagana & Mukherji Bill Would Restore Christie Cuts to Help Reinvigorate Industry in New Jersey

(TRENTON) - Llegislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson, Carmelo G. Garcia, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana and Raj Mukherji that would expand New Jersey's film and digital media production tax credit program in order to generate jobs, revenue and a slew of other ancillary benefits was approved 43-20-6 Thursday by the Assembly.

"The expansion of this tax credit will give New Jersey the shot in the arm it needs to once again attract film and digital media productions that have added so much to our economy in past years," said Johnson (D-Bergen). "We need to fix the mistake that was made when this credit was suspended and create an even more powerful economic development tool for our state."

The Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act (A-2474) enhances the corporation business tax and gross income tax credits for qualified film and digital media content production expenses, revises and expands film and digital media tax credit eligibility requirements and requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to study the prospect of developing a film production studio at a North Jersey location.

"First and foremost, the restoration of this tax credit will significantly boost job creation and revenue for our state," said Garcia (D-Hudson). "It will also spur capital investments in our neighborhoods from the influx in talent that typically follows these industries. For communities like Hoboken and Jersey City, just a stone's throw from Manhattan, this is particularly important."

"What's sad is that we squandered a prime opportunity in the immediate aftermath of the recession to take advantage of the many production companies that were interested in coming to New Jersey because we were a more cost-effective alternative to filming in New York City," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "Hopefully this legislation will send them a clear signal that we still are and we're open for business."

"The suspension of this tax credit dealt a significant blow to our economy, particularly with all the ancillary benefits that come along with this industry," said Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). "However, it's never too late to reverse this mistake. This bill will restore the confidence film and digital media production companies once had in New Jersey and help lure high-paying jobs back to our state."

"Given the struggles we're still facing to get our economy back on track, we need to nurture - not abandon - successful programs like this one that stimulate economic development," said Mukherji (D-Hudson). "When this credit was eliminated, we lost numerous productions that had pumped millions into our local economies. Not only will this bill allow us to reinvest in our communities by attracting film and digital media productions, it will also incentivize these productions to buy goods from businesses located in UEZs and hire residents of those cities, like Jersey City."