As I’ve previously reported, New York has run out of money to fund its Film & TV Tax Credits which have lured back or helped keep productions in-state. If not re-approved in the next state budget, their absence will undoubtedly hurt the entertainment business at a time when it can least afford it, especially when the program pays for itself. Now this petition is circulating:

To: Governor David A. Paterson
cc: Speaker of the Assembly/Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith

We are writing to you today, on behalf of the thousands of men and women employed in the film and television industry in New York State. A recent article in the New York Post, titled “Cut! And Run Looms: NY Out of Film Lures”, reported that the successful state program that provides tax credits to lure television and film productions to New York has run out of money. The report goes on to say that “A Paterson spokesman said yesterday that there is no additional funding for the tax credits included in his latest budget proposal.” This is alarming.

With an unemployment rate of over 7%, now is not the time to cut programs that create jobs and foster new businesses in our state. This program is proven to be highly successful and at a time when this industry needs all the help it can get, you must rethink the true impact of not funding this valuable program.

According to a 2007 study by Ernst and Young, the state and city combined have issued $690 million in tax credits and have collected $2.7 billion in taxes from movie and television productions. This program pays for itself! It helped create over 7,000 jobs, directly, in 2007 and over 12,000 jobs indirectly.

As you are aware, New York City has seen a surge in new television, motion picture and commercial filming in recent years. The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting reports that in 2002, there were 14,858 NYC location shooting days and in 2008, we reached over 27,250 days. There is a direct correlation between the growth of this industry and the tax credits provided from the state – we need to keep the momentum going, especially during tough economic times.

New York City and New York State have become “Hollywood of the East”. We are finally a player in the international film industry. Please, Governor Paterson, fund the New York State Tax Credit program for television and motion pictures. Real jobs depend on it!

Sincerely,
The Undersigned

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