As you might imagine, the MPAA is happy today after New York state lawmakers including Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed over the weekend to include in their $153 billion budget a three-year extension of tax breaks for film and TV producers.
“This will ensure stability and predictability for television and motion picture producers that utilize one of the most successful incentive programs worldwide,” MPAA chief Chris Dodd said. “New York will continue to create thousands of jobs and add billions of dollars to the New York State economy as even more television series and feature film productions will locate in the Empire State.”
Launched in 2004 and extended by Cuomo in 2013, the $420 million-a-year program isn’t set to expire until 2019. But it needed additional funding to avoid running out of money later this year.
Producers can receive refundable credit of 30% on qualified production costs and post-production costs incurred in New York State — primarily outside of New York City.
A report conducted for Empire State Development, the state’s economic development arm, found that in 2013 and 2014 the program created more than $5 billion in spending in the state, generated nearly $10 billion in total spending throughout the state’s economy, created more than 60,000 jobs and $3.3 billion in earnings.
But a major investigation last month of the state’s tax incentives in several industries, including film and TV, concluded that they’ve done little if anything to promote job growth in upstate New York.
The report from Pro Publica, the Investigative Post and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism noted, for example, that “a $15 million facility built outside Syracuse to serve as a filmmaking hub stands all but unused.”
They created an app (here) to track how much different companies have received in tax subsidies.