Pennsylvania state senator Daylin Leach has introduced a bill that would provide a 25 percent tax credit to video game developers working in the state.
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 700 [PDF
] would provide up to $20 million in tax benefits annually to video game projects where at least 60 percent of the expenses are incurred in the state.
The bill is co-sponsored by seven other senators -- all members of the minority Democratic party -- in the 50-member Pennsylvania State Senate. The bill is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate Finance Committee, which would precede a vote by the full Senate -- it would also need support from the Republican-controlled General Assembly and a signature from the governor before becoming law.
Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett offered words of support for the idea of game industry tax credits
during a March visit to a Chester County Microsoft technology center, saying he hoped such credits would ensure "software producers who are here don't have to leave Pennsylvania."
In 2012, Pennsylvania cut tax credits provided to movie producers in the state from $75 million to $42 million annually as part of an effort to close a budget deficit. Some legislators have publicly mulled removing those tax credits altogether in this year's session.
Many other states and Canadian provinces already offer various incentives to attract game companies to their territory.
Such credits led to the creation of nearly 2,000 game industry jobs in Georgia after their introduction in 2007, according to Videogame Growth Initiative Philadelphia director Patrick Di Ferdinando, who is organizing a grassroots effort
to urge legislators to support the bill.
Pennsylvania companies that stand to benefit from the deal include Schell Games, Wild Pockets, Silvertree Media, Game Music Inc., Burst Online and Megatouch.