New Jersey’s commitment to growing the Garden State’s film industry continues to develop. While New Jersey tax credits have already been awarded under the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program, recent changes to the law have created two new designations that are meant to encourage the development of large, long-term studio facilities—Studio Partner and Film-Lease Partner—and the applications for these designations are now live on the NJEDA website.
To qualify as a Studio Partner, an applicant must have site control of a film production facility of at least 250,000 square feet for a period of at least 10 years. In addition, the site must have at least preliminary site plan approval, and an executed redevelopment agreement or an adopted redevelopment plan. There are three Studio Partner designations available.
A Film-Lease Partner is a production company that holds documentation (a letter of intent at a minimum) demonstrating control of a production facility site of at least 50,000 square feet for a period of at least five years. The Film-Lease Partner must also commit to annual spending of $50 million in qualified film production expenses. There is no limit on the number of applicants that may qualify as a Film-Lease Partner.
The benefit of earning designation as either a Studio Partner or Film-Lease Partner is that each category is funded with a separate annual allocation of $100 million, which is in addition to the existing $100 million that is available for traditional film productions in New Jersey—even if the traditional $100 million is exhausted in any given fiscal year, the separate allocations for a Studio Partner or Film-Lease Partner means that these applicants will still be eligible for credits. In addition, there is a separate approval queue for the Studio Partner and Film-Lease Partner designations.
To qualify for either Studio Partner or Film-Lease Partner designations, an initial application must be submitted to the NJEDA. If approved for a designation, subsequent applications to the NJEDA will be required for each film project thereafter.
For more information on the New Jersey Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program or any New Jersey incentive opportunity, contact the Genova Burns Incentives Practice: Jennifer Mazawey, Esq. via email here or Avi D. Kelin, Esq. via email here.