Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Lower Paxton) issued the following statement today regarding his extreme disappointment that the governor continues to fully fund the Film Tax Credit:
“I find it utterly appalling that Governor Rendell insists on fully funding his pet projects, while Pennsylvania’s economy continues its downward spiral. Instead of cutting tax credits that have proven to have a negative fiscal impact on our state, the governor is now looking to the federal government for handouts. It simply does not make sense.
“Upon the governor’s direction, the enactment of the $75 million tax credit occurred during the passage of the 2007-08 state budget. More tax dollars were dedicated to the Film Tax Credit than any other tax credit in the 2007-08 budget. In fact, a credit that benefits Pennsylvania job creators, the Research and Development Credit, received less funding than the Film Tax Credit. To my dismay, the Film Tax Credit was also put into the 2008-09 budget.
“The 2008 Film Production Tax Credit Report, completed by the Department of Community and Economic Development, was released to the General Assembly earlier this year. The results of this report indicated that almost $75 million in tax credits were awarded and only $18 million in state revenue was generated. For every $4 issued in tax credits, $1 of state revenue was generated. I would think that the governor would read the report conducted by an office under his jurisdiction and begin to see that this tax credit was a mistake to implement and proceed to correct this mistake. However, that has not been the case.
“I introduced legislation prior to the passage of the 2008-09 budget to free up additional state dollars by repealing the Film Tax Credit. Unfortunately for the people of Pennsylvania, this legislation never left the committee to which it was assigned.
“Less than two months ago, the New York Times reported that states with film tax credits continue to give up revenue that otherwise could be collected for taxpayers in order to put money in the pockets of movie producers. Additionally, this article indicated that a film tax credit is an expensive way to create short-term jobs. This type of tax credit is clearly not a way to boost Pennsylvania’s economy long-term.
“We need to repeal this tax credit immediately, before the Commonwealth loses any more money. Film tax credits are bad tax policy, especially in a tight budget year, and an irresponsible priority for the sake of a photo-op of a political leader and a Hollywood star or starlet.
“I intend on re-introducing my legislation in the 2008-09 legislative session and making it a priority. It is my hope that the entire legislature and the governor see how important it is to make common sense cuts to our budget in order to begin to lessen the fiscal burden on Pennsylvanians.”
Rep. Ronald Marsico
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Autumn R. Southard
House Republican Public Relations