TRENTON - Governor Phil Murphy today signed Senate Bill No. 122, the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, after the Legislature concurred with recommendations that he made to the bill. The bill provides film and television production companies with business tax and gross income tax credits for certain expenses incurred while filming in New Jersey. The legislation will encourage production companies to locate in New Jersey, spurring economic growth and industry development.
“The film and digital media industry is poised to become a dynamic part of New Jersey’s economy, one that will create good-paying union jobs and countless residual benefits to the economy,” Governor Murphy said. “By signing this legislation, we are allowing these companies to take advantage of New Jersey’s unique culture, location, and geography. I look forward to seeing the many projects that will come out of our great state thanks to the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act.”
The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Paul Sarlo and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald.
“We have been fighting for these credits for eight years,” said Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “I am grateful that Governor Murphy saw the value in them. The film industry has deep roots in New Jersey. Fort Lee is where the movie industry began. These credits will ensure that New Jersey remains a player in this constantly evolving industry.”
“I want to thank Governor Murphy for signing this important legislation. We will now be able to advance our objective of reinvigorating the film and digital media industries In New Jersey,” said Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo. “There is a natural synergy between digital technology and the film industry. We want to position New Jersey at the forefront of new developments, new technologies and future opportunities.”
“Not only will this bring more jobs and revenue to New Jersey through the increased number of films that will be shot here, but crew members will then eat, sleep, and do countless other things in our great state,” said Assemblyman Johnson. “This will help Main Street first and foremost.”
“There are so many parts of our beautiful state which could be utilized for film, and so many of our residents who could contribute to these films,” said Assemblyman Moriarty. “This new law will put the infrastructure in place to realize these possibilities.”
“With the invention of the world’s first movie camera by our very own Thomas Edison, New Jersey is known as the birthplace of the film industry, yet we’ve seen a decline in film and television productions over the last several years,” said Assembly Majority Leader Greenwald. “This is a strategic investment that will not only make New Jersey a leader in this industry once more, but it aims to create long-term jobs throughout our state and will stimulate our economy.”
In addition to the creation of financial incentives for film and digital media companies, the bill also incentivizes companies to make significant efforts to hire diverse cast and crews. The Economic Development Authority will verify that production companies have made good-faith efforts toward that goal before receiving additional incentives.
The law will take effect immediately.