Post-production tax credit was raised to 30% in metropolitan area

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, tubthumped the state’s sweetened post-production tax incentive Tuesday, saying that applications to the state have soared since the measure went into effect.

“Last July, the State sent a clear message with a new law that we welcome and support producers, editors and directors to come to New York for post-production work,” Cuomo said. “In just a matter of months, the State has received a record number of applications to do post-production here — evidence that we are making smart investments to attract businesses, create jobs and generate economic activity. Let this progress be an invitation for other productions to come to the Empire State, the future television and film capital of the world.”

Cuomo said 34 productions have applied for post-production work in New York — double the number of applications received during a two-year period under the previous tax credit. The credit was hiked from 10% to 30% in the New York metropolitan commuter region and Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties; for post-production work in upstate New York, the credit is 35%.

The state estimated the work will generate $23 million in new spending in New York. It also said applications have been submitted by projects shooting in Louisiana, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts and the country of Jordan.

Applicants include Liza Johnson’s “Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage,” a feature from Benaroya Pictures starring Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce.

“The New York State post production credit was a game changer in getting this film made,” said Jamin O’Brien, a producer on the film. “Prior to the post credit, we may not have been able to make the film, as the 30% credit on New York expenditures became part of our finance plan.”

Cuomo recently unveiled his 2013-14 budget proposal with a five-year extension to the state’s film production tax credit of $420 million a year — for a total of $2.1 billion between 2015 and 2019. He also said restrictions on claiming the post-production portion of the credit will be reduced.

State officials have 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.

By contrast, California’s four-year-old incentive effort 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%.

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