In Our Community

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill Aimed at Incentivizing Media Production in New Jersey Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty entitled the ‘Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act’ was signed into law Tuesday.

The new law (A-1038) provides a credit against the corporation business tax and gross income tax for certain expenses incurred for the production of certain films and digital media content in New Jersey commencing on or after July 1, 2018 but before July 1, 2023.

A two percent tax credit also will be offered for qualified film production expenses and digital media content production expenses to productions that make significant efforts to increase diversity in hiring.

After the approval of an application sent to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, taxpayers would be allowed a credit amount equal to 30 percent of the qualified film production expenses and 20 percent of the qualified digital media content production expenses.

“There are so many parts of our beautiful state which could be utilized for film, and so many of our residents who could contribute to these films,” said Moriarty. “This new law will put the infrastructure in place to realize these possibilities.”

If the expenses are incurred for services performed and/or personal property used or consumed in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, or Salem County, the allowable credit would increase to 35 percent and 25 percent respectively.

In order to claim the tax credit for qualified film production expenses, the following conditions must be met:

· at least 60 percent of the total film production expenses, exclusive of post-production costs are incurred in New Jersey, or the qualified production expenses exceed $1,000,000

· the film includes marketing materials promoting the state of New Jersey in the film and include an appropriate logo at the end of the credits denoting that the piece was filmed in New Jersey

· principal photography of the film commences within 180 days from the date of the application for the tax credit, or 150 days from the approval of the application

In order to claim the tax credit for qualified digital media content production expenses, the following conditions must be met:

· at least $2,000,000 of the total digital media content production expenses are incurred in New Jersey

· at least 50 percent of the qualified digital media content production expenses are for wages and salaries paid to full-time or full-time equivalent employees in New Jersey

Both applicants for the film production and digital media content tax credits must submit a tax credit verification report prepared by an independent certified public accountant licensed in New Jersey and comply with the withholding requirements provided for payments to loan out companies and independent contractors.

There is a limit of $75 million in tax credits that may be accumulated during each year of the five-year duration for film production expenses and $10 million for qualified digital media content.

The bill received final legislative approval by the full Assembly, 59-18, June 25.

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Create New Jersey Civic Information Consortium Approved by Assembly, Heads to Governor’s Desk

Legislation Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty sponsored to establish a New Jersey Civic Information Consortium was approved 52-22 Saturday by the full Assembly. The bill will now go to the Governor for further consideration.

The bill (A-3628) would establish the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium to advance research and innovation in media and technology to benefit the state’s civic life and evolving information needs. The consortium – comprised of Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University and Rutgers University – would be established as an educational, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and would provide grants that support news and information in New Jersey.

“Sometimes all it takes for someone to become an active participant in improving his or her community is a news package that identifies a problem and sparks a passion for finding the solution, but if people don’t know what’s wrong, they can’t make it right,” said Moriarty. “Bolstering public-interest journalism, civic information and media innovation is about giving New Jersey residents the tools they need to get involved and change their communities for the better.”

The bill would require the consortium to report annually to the governor and the legislature on its activities and make the report available on its website. The report is to include, but not be limited to:
– a list of all grant applicants and approved grant applicants
– the grant amounts of approved grant applicants
– the amount of matching funds and types of in-kind contributions provided to approved grant applicants
– a status report on the activities funded by an approved grant applicant

The bill also would require the board to hold one public hearing annually in the northern, central and southern regions of the state to provide a forum for the board to report on how public funds are spent and gather public input on the consortium’s mission.

The consortium’s 13-member board would consist of the following members: two gubernatorial appointees; one member each appointed by the Senate president and the Assembly speaker; one appointment each, having a background in journalism, media or technology, by the president of each member university; and five members, appointed by a majority vote of the other eight appointed board members, of which one member is to represent the media sector, one member to represent the technology sector, one member to represent the nonprofit sector, and two members, not employed by the state or a member university at the time of their appointment, having demonstrated a record of commitment to public service and understanding the importance of media and technology to New Jersey’s future.

In addition, the governor’s two appointees may not be from the same political party; no more than three of the five members appointed by the presidents of member institutions of higher education can be from the same political party; and no more than two of the four members appointed by the other board members may represent the same political party.

The Senate passed the bill on June 25, 35-0.

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill Aimed at Incentivizing Media Production in New Jersey Clears Legislature

Legislation sponsored by Paul Moriarty entitled the ‘Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act’ received final legislative approval Thursday by the full Assembly, 59-18. It will now go to the Governor for further consideration.

The bill (A-1038) would provide a credit against the corporation business tax and gross income tax for certain expenses incurred for the production of certain films and digital media content in New Jersey commencing on or after July 1, 2018 but before July 1, 2023.

The bill originally received final legislative approval in April and was sent to the governor, but it was conditionally vetoed. The bill approved today concurs with the governor’s recommendations. Among the recommendations approved by the Assembly is one that offers a two percent tax credit for qualified film production expenses and digital media content production expenses to productions that make significant efforts to increase diversity in hiring.

After the approval of an application sent to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury, taxpayers would be allowed a credit amount equal to 30 percent of the qualified film production expenses and 20 percent of the qualified digital media content production expenses.

“There are so many parts of our beautiful state which could be utilized for film, and so many of our residents who could contribute to these films,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “What this bill does is put the infrastructure in place to realize these possibilities.”

If the expenses are incurred for services performed and/or personal property used or consumed in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, or Salem County, the allowable credit would increase to 35 percent and 25 percent respectively.

In order to claim the tax credit for qualified film production expenses, the following conditions must be met:

· at least 60 percent of the total film production expenses, exclusive of post-production costs are incurred in New Jersey, or the qualified production expenses exceed $1,000,000

· the film includes marketing materials promoting the state of New Jersey in the film and include an appropriate logo at the end of the credits denoting that the piece was filmed in New Jersey

· principal photography of the film commences within 180 days from the date of the application for the tax credit, or 150 days from the approval of the application

In order to claim the tax credit for qualified digital media content production expenses, the following conditions must be met:

· at least $2,000,000 of the total digital media content production expenses are incurred in New Jersey

· at least 50 percent of the qualified digital media content production expenses are for wages and salaries paid to full-time or full-time equivalent employees in New Jersey

Both applicants for the film production and digital media content tax credits must submit a tax credit verification report prepared by an independent certified public accountant licensed in New Jersey and comply with the withholding requirements provided for payments to loan out companies and independent contractors.

There is a limit of $75 million in tax credits that may be accumulated during each year of the five-year duration of the bill for film production expenses and $10 million for qualified digital media content.

The bill was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on April 5 and approved by the full Assembly April 12, 59-14.

Assemblywoman Mosquera Bills Requiring Sexual Assault Reporting, Training for Airline Industry Approved by Assembly

A three-bill legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera to require sexual assault reporting and training in the airline industry was approved 77-0 Monday by the full Assembly.

One bill (A-4175) would require the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) to require airlines, vendors and contractors to adopt and maintain sexual assault policies and require the agency to collaborate with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute sexual assaults. While it is difficult to determine how frequently assaults occur on commercial flights in the United States–since no federal regulatory agency tracks such data nationwide–FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults increased 66 percent from fiscal years 2014-2017.

Another measure (AR-167) urges the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require air carriers to submit annual sexual assault reports.

“Although not commonly known, sexual assaults occur on U.S. airlines,” said Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Nearly a year ago, one such assault occurred against a minor aboard a flight to Newark Liberty International Airport. Unfortunately, without federal reporting standards, there is no systematic way to address this issue.”

The last measure (AR-172) requires airlines to adopt policies as well as mandated-training regarding sexual assaults on airplanes.

Each measure was released by the Assembly Women and Children Committee. The three-bill legislative package will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Moriarty Bill to Create New Jersey Civic Information Consortium Approved by Assembly

Legislation that Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty sponsored to establish a New Jersey Civic Information Consortium was approved 54-22 Thursday by the full Assembly.

The bill (A-3628) would establish the New Jersey Civic Information Consortium to advance research and innovation in media and technology to benefit the state’s civic life and evolving information needs. The consortium – which would comprise Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University and Rutgers University – would be established as an educational, charitable 501©(3) nonprofit corporation and would provide grants that support news and information in New Jersey.

“Sometimes all it takes for someone to become an active participant in improving his or her community is a news package that identifies a problem and sparks a passion for finding the solution, but if people don’t know what’s wrong, they can’t make it right,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “Bolstering public-interest journalism, civic information and media innovation is about giving New Jersey residents the tools they need to get involved and change their communities for the better.”

The bill would require the consortium to report annually to the governor and the legislature on its activities and make the report available on its website. The report is to include, but not be limited to:

a list of all grant applicants and approved grant applicants; the grant amounts of approved grant applicants

the amount of matching funds and types of in-kind contributions provided to approved grant applicants; and

a status report on the activities funded by an approved grant applicant.

The bill also would require the board to hold one public hearing annually in the northern, central and southern regions of the state to provide a forum for the board to report on how public funds are spent and gather public input on the consortium’s mission.

The consortium’s 13-member board would consist of the following members: two gubernatorial appointees; one member each appointed by the Senate president and the Assembly speaker; one appointment each by the president of each member university with a background in journalism, media or technology; and five members, appointed by a majority vote of the other eight appointed board members, of which one member is to represent the media sector, one member to represent the technology sector, one member to represent the nonprofit sector, and two members, not employed by the state or a member university at the time of their appointment, having demonstrated a record of commitment to public service and understanding the importance of media and technology to New Jersey’s future.

The bill now awaits further consideration by the Senate.

Moriarty Bill Eliminating Discrimination against Cash Paying Consumers Clears Assembly

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, prohibiting discrimination against consumers paying for goods or services with cash was advanced by the Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 71-4.

The bill (A-591) is applicable to any retail transaction conducted in-person, and excludes telephone, mail, or internet based transactions.

“Many people do not have access to consumer credit and any effort by retail establishments to ban the use of cash would be discriminatory towards those people,” said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). “The U.S. dollar is legal tender and should be accepted at any retail establishment in New Jersey.”

The sponsor also referred to an article written last year regarding how Visa had pushed for more small businesses to participate in a program that would offer up to $10,000 each to 50 U.S. based small businesses if they were to make their payment technology completely digital.

Any person in violation of this bill would be subject to a civil penalty up to $2,500 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offense, and a third or subsequent offense would be an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act.