Tax break changes for film industry aim to get N.J. ready for its closeup

A New Jersey Senate panel is backing a measure to eliminate caps on the tax credits intended to encourage movie and TV production in the Garden State.

 

Greater tax incentives would give studios more reason to bring their productions to New Jersey, saidChristine Peluso, an attorney with Tax Credits LLC, during a Monday budget hearing.

“It is less expensive to film here in New Jersey. Studios want to come here not only for feature film but also for TV,” she said. “We could be the TV capital of the country.”

The bill is necessary for New Jersey to promote growth in the film and television industries, Michael Maher, CEO of START Media, told lawmakers.

“It will create jobs in those industries,” he said. “It will encourage capital investment in technology and infrastructure associated with those industries, and it will bolster and encourage capital investment in those neighborhoods that stand to benefit from the influx of talent that will follow as these industries grow and thrive.”

But before a company could get the tax break, Sen. Joe Kyrillos said he would like to see proof that each project would be a good economic deal for the state.

“With this kind of situation we’re showcasing the state for the rest of the country, the rest of the world,” said Kyrillos, R-Monmouth. “But we want to make sure as I’m told is the case in some states, that we don’t give out more than we get.”

Companies would also have to partner with a public college or university to qualify for the tax credit.

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