Pritzker signs law aimed at keeping film, television crews working in Illinois

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a new law aimed at keeping film and television production crews working in Illinois.

Anyone who lives or works downtown, has probably bumped into crews filming. Chicago is a hot spot for TV and film, and on Thursday, a tax credit for the industry was extended.

Legendary television producer Dick Wolf had a sit-down with Pritzker about two months ago.

“…and I knew that the tax credit was under discussion and it wasn’t the best way to really kick off a relationship because I said, ‘Look I have to tell you if the tax credit goes, we have to go,’” he said.

The message was received.

Pritzker signed a law extending the Illinois Film Tax Credit until 2026. The credit is 30% of an Illinois based film worker’s first $100,000 in salary.

“This tax credit helps grow tomorrow’s leaders in acting and screenwriting and in production,” Pritzker said.

Wolf said he enjoys shooting in Chicago even during the brutal winters and he shouted out his film crews.

“Thirty below and then we’re on the street shooting,” Wolf said. “They could move to California, they’re a very, very talented group and they want to be here.”

The Illinois Film Production Office said last year, film production in the state totaled $263 million and supported almost 16,000 jobs.

However, Austin Berg of the conservative Illinois Policy Institute said the tax credit is a case of the powerful getting special treatment.

“I think it’s great that J.B Pritzker has recognized that lower tax burdens do bring businesses to Illinois but it’s unfortunate that that logic is only extended to a very glitz industry and not small businesses in the rest of the state that are staring down the barrel of very large tax hikes,” he said.

The extension was signed just days after former labor leader John Coli pleaded guilty to a scheme to extort Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

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