(TRENTON, NJ) -- On January 12, 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S-4094/A-6070) which bolsters the New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program through expanded digital media production tax credits and other improvements. The program, which was first signed into law by Governor Murphy in July 2018, and first expanded in January 2020, has made New Jersey a national film and television production center and continues to attract high-profile projects to New Jersey such as West Side Story, The Equalizer, and The Many Saints of Newark.
“This legislation will ensure that our state remains a top destination for some of our country’s most significant film and TV productions,” said Governor Murphy. “The New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program has brought numerous productions to our state, creating jobs for New Jerseyans, and bringing in money that is being spent with local businesses. We look forward to attracting even more productions to our state with the expanded tax credits and improvements that this legislation provides.”
“New Jersey offers significant advantages to productions seeking a vast and diverse on and off camera talent pool and an array of authentic sites for all sorts of productions,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Governor Murphy and the Legislature clearly recognize the opportunity the growth of the film and digital media sector represents for the state and their action today to expand the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit will help New Jersey continue to compete for high-profile productions and the influx of economic activity they bring.”
"The latest legislation further enhances a program that has been extremely effective in attracting motion picture and television production, and production infrastructure," said Executive Director of the NJ Motion Picture and TV Commission Steven Gorelick. "Based on the numerous amount of inquiries we are now receiving, it appears that 2022 will another very successful year for New Jersey's film and television industry."
Primary sponsors of this legislation include Senators Paul Sarlo and Gordon Johnson, and Assemblymembers William Spearman, Raj Mukherji, Paul Moriarty. Former Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg was also a primary sponsor of this legislation.
“Due to ever-evolving technologies, the film and television industry is one of the fastest-changing industries in the world. This expansion of the media content tax credit will allow us to keep up with all these trends, and keep New Jersey competitive with other states involved in sound, editing and production activities,” said former Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. “These production companies and other media businesses provide good jobs for skilled labor, a market that has long been a backbone of New Jersey’s economy.
“New Jersey is strategically located between New York and Philadelphia, which makes us a convenient location for film and digital media, but convenience is nothing if it doesn’t also make financial sense to attract the business activity,” said Senator Paul Sarlo. “By increasing the credits of these programs and enhancing the financial incentive to support the film industry and digital media in our state we can solidify New Jersey as a go-to destination for these projects. We want to capitalize on the direct and indirect economic benefits of an expanding industry.”
“Digital media projects are just as important to the entertainment industry and economy as film projects, and deserve the same opportunities to grow and thrive in our state,” said Senator Gordon Johnson, who sponsored this legislation as a member of the Assembly. “This law will give New Jersey an even more competitive edge by further establishing our state as an appealing destination for creative projects of all kinds.”
“As our state continues to recover from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must make it a priority to attract more businesses to New Jersey on behalf of our residents,” said Assemblyman William Spearman. “Expanding this critical program to bring in additional film and digital media projects will create new jobs, yield more revenue for local businesses, and ultimately invigorate our economy.”
“Film and digital media productions are going to serve as an important component of our state’s economy in the coming years, as our tax credit program incentivizes the industry’s growth in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Raj Mukherji. “Countless residents with the talent and skill to work on these creative productions will now have more opportunities to do so.”
“This law builds on a valuable program that helps generate jobs and promote business throughout our state,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty. “I look forward to the further expansion of this industry in New Jersey and the benefits our residents will see as a result of these changes.”
Under the legislation, the amount of the digital media content production portion of the tax credit program would be increased while maintaining the overall cap on tax credits established in the Economic Recovery Act of 2020. Specifically, the bill increases the digital media content production tax credit to 35 percent of the qualified digital media content production expenses purchased through vendors located in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, or Salem Counties, or 30 percent of all other qualified digital media content production expenses purchased within the State. In addition, the bill increases the cumulative annual limitation on digital media content production tax credits from $10 million to $30 million. The bill changes the treatment of excess credit applications in a fiscal year and allows reallocation among the categories of New Jersey studio partners, New Jersey film-lease partners, or taxpayers other than New Jersey studio partners and New Jersey film-lease partners. Beginning in FY 2025, the bill also allows an additional $100 million in tax credits for New Jersey film-lease partners from tax credits authorized under other incentive programs.