Jack Markowitz missed several key components in his column claiming that Pennsylvania taxpayers are footing the bill for film production in the state ("Filmmakers' tax saving costs Pa. residents," Dec. 16 and PghTrib.com).
Creativity in Focus: The Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit Initiative was initially created by the state to attract film production to Pennsylvania through a grant program. A $10 million pool of funds was established to subsidize production.
In July 2007, this program was converted to a tax credit-based program with an annual program cap of $75 million. Film productions receive 25 percent of their budget back in the form of tax credits that the producers can "sell" to tax-credit brokers to receive cash.
In essence, the program attracts $300 million in film production by offering $75 million in tax credits. This is a very common activity and there are numerous other industries that have similar programs in Pennsylvania.
What Mr. Markowitz does not pass along is the subtle point that film companies do not receive these tax credits unless they first spend the money in Pennsylvania. …