New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a three-year extension of the state’s production incentive program.
Cuomo unveiled the extension Tuesday night as part of his proposed budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The three-year extension will take the program through 2022.
The tax credit had been set to expire in 2019, prompting recent lobbying efforts for an extension by Teamsters Local 817 and MPAA president Chris Dodd, along with New York City studio heads. The New York state film tax credit program was initiated in 2004 and provides $420 million annually in tax breaks to qualified production companies that make feature films or television series, pilots and movies.
A 2015 report by Boston Consulting Group, commissioned by New York City, said the film and TV industry contributes close to $9 billion to the local economy annually. Dodd issued a statement Wednesday praising Cuomo.
“Because of Governor Cuomo’s vision and leadership, there are now 130,000 New Yorkers employed in the television and motion picture industry,” he said. “The entertainment industry has invested over $16 billion producing our television series and motion pictures in New York since 2010, money that is reinvested in New York’s communities and small businesses. The proposed extension of the production incentive program will ensure our member companies continue to grow their investment in New York, which is now one of the greatest locations in the world to do business.”
The Directors Guild of America also praised Cuomo: “The Directors Guild of America applauds Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership, and thanks him for including a three-year extension of the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit in his budget. The positive impact of the incentive on the economy, jobs and local business is enormous. Between 2005 and 2015, as production increased by more than 300%, the earnings of our members who live and work in New York’s communities grew 350%. This simply would not have happened without the incentive.”
Empire State Development, the agency that administers the program, has said at least 541 movies and TV series have been shot in New York utilizing the incentives.
SAG-AFTRA New York Local President Mike Hodge said in a statement, “SAG-AFTRA is grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in recognizing the substantial economic benefits this tax incentive program brings to New Yorkers. Film, television and other productions now create over 140,000 SAG-AFTRA covered entertainment jobs every year in New York. The proposed extension of the tax incentive program, combined with the extraordinary talent of our local members, will ensure that producers continue to invest and thrive here.”
Hal G. Rosenbluth, President & CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, also weighed in:
“The Governor’s support of the Tax Credit is a great economic policy. The Tax Credit combined with New York’s great talent drives the 9-billion-dollar production industry in New York. The industry creates in excess of 100,000 high paying jobs and spends millions of dollars in the local community for goods and services. Having the Tax Credit in place encourages Kaufman Astoria Studios and its counterparts to invest in building new infrastructure to service and grow the industry. With this extension of the Tax Credit the Governor has established a win-win for the economy.”