A state lawmaker said Tuesday she wants to eliminate tax breaks for the film production industry as the General Assembly seeks ways to close a $2.3 billion budget deficit. -The governor is freezing wages and considering layoffs of state workers, and it would be unconscionable in this environment to continue awarding tax credits to film companies,- state Sen. Pat Vance said in a statement. -Failure to suspend this tax credit sends the wrong message about our fiscal priorities.-
Vance, a Republican who represents Cumberland County and part of York County, introduced a bill to suspend the Film Production Tax Credit program until 2011.Supporters of the program, which extends a 25-percent tax credit to production companies that spend at least 60 percent of a film’s budget in Pennsylvania, say it generates millions of dollars for the state economy.
-The tax credit has been an unqualified success in attracting production to Pennsylvania, and has been more successful than anticipated,- said Chuck Ardo, a spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell, who wants to keep the program. “This is no time to take any steps that will result in (fewer) jobs and less economic activity.” The program, which is capped at $75 million, was included in the $29 billion budget Rendell proposed last week. Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said without the credit production companies won’t even consider the Keystone State for future film production.