NEWARK, N.J. — Following a record year for New Jersey’s motion picture and television industry, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation to expand the financial incentive program that has served as a catalyst for a dramatic increase in production activity in the state.
The Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act was enacted in July 2018, creating a 30-35% tax credit for qualified productions shot in New Jersey, plus a 2% bonus for companies that develop and execute a diversity plan. Since then, 31 projects have been attracted to the state by the program, enhancing the state economy by well over $300 million and creating thousands of jobs.
“The film and television tax credit program is an investment in New Jersey workers, our economy, and communities throughout our state,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way, whose office includes the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. “In the past few years, we’ve been proud to see more of New Jersey’s vibrant cities and picturesque small towns serve as the backdrop for stories from some of the most talented artists of our time. The extension of this program means the best is yet to come for New Jersey and our partners in the film industry!”
Assembly Bill A-5580, sponsored by Assembly members Gordon Johnson, Paul Moriarty and Louis Greenwald and Senators Loretta Weinberg and Paul Sarlo —passed by the legislature on January 13 – extends the current program to 2028 and raises the annual cap from $75 million to $100 million. In a recent letter to the Governor, a coalition of entertainment industry unions including SAG/AFTRA, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Teamsters, Directors Guild of America and Writers Guild of America, praised the program. They emphasize that “not only does the incentive help keep families close, by allowing New Jersey’s creative professionals to work here in their home state, it also ensures that their incomes recirculate toward New Jersey goods and services, strengthening the state’s overall economy.” NBCUniversal reported spending over $36 million in New Jersey while filming the first season of “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for The Bone Collector,” and creating 665 jobs.
Commission Chairman Michael Uslan said that increasing the length of the program to 10 years is critical to attracting studios and other related businesses to New Jersey. “Our goal is to create a New Jersey film and television industry that has permanence and stability. The growth of infrastructure to support such an industry is essential.”
The initial tax credit projects made in the state include such feature films as Warner Bros. “Joker” (nominated for 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture) and “The Many Saints of Newark” (a prequel to “The Sopranos”), the Twentieth Century-Fox remake of “West Side Story” (directed by Steven Spielberg), Paramount Pictures’ “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (written and directed by Aaron Sorkin) and the big budget action thriller “Army of the Dead” from Netflix. Among the television series made in New Jersey recently are NBCU’s “The Enemy Within” and the recently premiered “Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for The Bone Collector”; ABC’s “Emergence”; HBO’s upcoming mini-series “The Plot Against America”; and the Apple TV+ anthology series “Little America.”
About the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission
The NJMPTVC, which falls under the New Jersey Department of State’s Business Action Center, is staffed by industry professionals and serves as a resource for production companies. The Commission promotes film and television production in New Jersey. www.film.nj.gov