Governor calls for fewer restrictions on post claims, more detail on job creation

The Empire State continues to outpace the Golden State when it comes to production incentives.

Unveiling his 2013-14 budget proposal, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a five-year extension Tuesday to that state’s film production tax credit of $420 million a year — for a total of $2.1 billion between 2015 and 2019.

Cuomo’s statement said restrictions on claiming the post-production portion of the credit will be reduced and additional reporting will be required to document the effectiveness of the credit in creating jobs.

The state of New York tripled its post-production tax incentive to 30% last year and state officials estimated that New York had issued more than $1 billion in credits since 2004, which have generated an estimated $7.57 billion and more than half a million jobs through below-the-line expenditures.

New York’s program is anchored by a 30% credit for below-the-line expenditures incurred in the state. New York noted that it saw a record number of TV series lense locally last year, with 23 programs including CBS’ “A Gifted Man,” “Unforgettable” and “Person of Interest” and NBC’s “Smash.”

The nine-year-old New York program dwarfs California’s four-year-old incentive effort — which is limited to $100 million annually in tax credits. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a two-year extension in September for the program, which carries a maximum credit of 25%. Demand far exceeds supply as only 28 of more than 330 applicants were initially chosen in the most recent lottery in June.

The California program is administered via the state’s film commission. Amy Lemisch, who heads that body, told Variety that California continues to face worldwide competition.

“The extension of New York’s tax credit, proposed by Gov. Cuomo, is another example of the global competition facing California,” Lemisch said. “New York, which has an ambitious program, is one of 40 states and dozens of countries trying to lure production.”

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