The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved four film and television productions for tax credits through the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program. The four approved projects, the first under the law signed by Governor Murphy in 2018, represent a range of productions including major film and television productions, as well as smaller, independent films. Two approved productions include diversity plans under a new provision that provides a bonus for productions that submit an approved plan for the recruitment and hiring of minority persons and women and make good-faith efforts to achieve the goals of the plan.
“New Jersey has a rich history as the setting for hundreds of films and television shows,” said Governor Murphy. “Our diverse population and geography have long kept us on the short lists of studios and location scouts. The addition of this tax credit as well as our continued defense of progressive values put New Jersey on the cusp of becoming one of the premier locations in the nation.”
“This first group of film tax credit approvals emphasize what Governor Murphy has said—New Jersey is ready to stake its claim as a premier location for film and television production,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Film and television production offers many economic benefits including new jobs and support for local small businesses, and this powerful incentive, along with New Jersey’s diverse population and landscapes, make a compelling case to producers that New Jersey is the ideal place for their next project.”
Signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy last summer, the Film Tax Credit provides a tax credit of 30 percent of qualified film production expenses, with the potential for bonus credits depending on where in New Jersey goods and services are purchased. To be eligible for the program, a film must spend at least 60 percent of its total budget through vendors authorized to do business in New Jersey or spend more than $1 million in qualified expenses in New Jersey.
The projects approved in June represent a wide array of film and television productions. From a biopic that illuminates Kathy DiFiore’s inspiring story of overcoming domestic violence and homelessness to establish a shelter for women and pregnant teens, to a story of star-crossed lovers in Atlantic City, the projects approved today involve locations and workers from across the state.
Two of the projects approved today included a diversity plan for the hiring of minority and women persons. Under the diversity component of the program, films can potentially receive a bonus of two percent of qualified film production expenses if the project can demonstrate good-faith efforts to undertake the actions and achieve the goals of the approved diversity plan.
The productions approved today represent nearly $6.2 million in tax credits, with individual awards ranging from $77,000 to more than $3 million.
“The interest in the Film Tax Credit program has already been incredible, and we look forward to more and more productions shooting in New Jersey in the years to come,” said Steve Gorelick, executive director, New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. “Along with the tax credit, filmmakers are taking notice of New Jersey’s highly-skilled workforce, diverse array of locations, and well-developed infrastructure. These resources will allow us to bring all the benefits of a thriving film industry to the Garden State.”
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