Incentive Alert: Film Tax Credit Legislation Advances in New Jersey Senate

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Last week, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted 11-1 to advance the “Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act.” As amended, the bill provides a credit against the corporation business tax (CBT) and the gross income tax (GIT) for certain expenses incurred for the production of certain films and digital media content in the State.

Under the bill (S122), applications approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, may entitle a taxpayer to claim a credit against CBT or GIT liability in an amount equal to 30 percent (35 percent in limited cases) of the qualified film production expenses or 20 percent (25 percent in limited cases) of the qualified digital media content production expenses.

Historically, New Jersey has utilized tax credits to incentivize film and media production projects. Following the prior program’s expiration a year earlier, in 2016, Governor Christie vetoed a bill that would have created a film and media tax credit program.

On the other side of the river, New York’s Film Production Tax Credit program (NYS Tax Law § 24) has been wildly successful in attracting film production to New York and creating film industry-related jobs throughout the State. The program provides certain tax incentives to companies that produce qualified feature films, television movies, and television series and pilots in New York State, and/or incur post-production costs in the State associated with the original creation of such productions.  

While it is certainly too early to tell if the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act will become law, this is definitely a step in the right direction.

If interested in learning more about this or other economic development incentive programs, please do not hesitate to contact Murphy Partners LLP at (973) 877-6984 or 


Murphy Partners LLP is a boutique law firm specializing in real estate, development, and economic incentive advisory. Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the firm was founded to provide effective, efficient, and creative legal services to meet the distinctive needs of our clients. Through the development of comprehensive legal strategies, our team works tirelessly to create a blueprint for success and advance our clients’ interests in every matter.


The Importance of a Proactive Government Affairs Strategy in Light of a Changing Administration

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As the smoke clears after a long battle, New Jersey will have a new governor on January 16, 2018. Yesterday, Phil Murphy defeated Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in a race to succeed Governor Chris Christie as New Jersey’s 56th governor. Winning the race by 13 percentage points, Murphy will take office with large majorities in both the senate and the assembly. Having campaigned on a progressive platform, the new administration is likely to work quickly with members in the legislature to implement its agenda.  

The next few months will be filled with the excitement of the transition: the Governor-elect putting together a transition team, selecting key positions within the front office, and working to identify individuals to fill the 15 cabinet-level or principal departments in the state’s executive branch.

Having spent years in Trenton as part of two executive branch agencies, I can tell you from firsthand experience that the importance of a proactive government affairs strategy is often overlooked. Too many times, I sat in meetings with organizations or businesses who were fighting from behind. Had they simply paid attention while the legislature passed a law, or an executive branch agency promulgated a rule, that materially impacted their business, they may have been able to influence the process. Whether because of a lack of knowledge, or a limited understanding of the process, they would find themselves in a compromised position.

While everyone likes certainty, smart organizations and businesses find opportunity in change. New leadership leads to new policy. Whether the issue is clean energy, the legalization of marijuana, or the raising of the state’s minimum wage, it is important to have a say in the conversation.   

Chris J. Murphy is a partner in the governmental affairs group at Murphy Partners LLP, a boutique law firm located in Newark, New Jersey. He can be reached at (973) 723-7036 or