New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tonight unveiled a state budget that includes a three-year extension of the state’s film production tax credit. Launched in 2004 and extended by Cuomo in 2013, the $420 million-a-year program isn’t set to expire until 2019 but was expected to run out of money later this year without the additional funding provided for in the new state budget.
An economic impact report conducted for Empire State Development, the state’s economic development arm, found that in one two-year period – 2013 and 2014 – the program had 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.
Many in the state’s booming film and TV community had urged the governor to extend the program, including the New York Production Alliance and the DGA.
“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 guild said in a statement. “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.”
The program’s extension also will be good for businesses like Kaufman Astoria Studios, which boasts the only studio backlot in New York City. “The governor’s support of the tax credit is a great economic policy,” said Hal G. Rosenbluth, the studio’s president and CEO. “The tax credit, combined with New York’s great talent, drives the $9 billion 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.”
SAG-AFTRA said that it too is pleased with the extension and the jobs for performers it will bring to the state. “SAG-AFTRA is grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in recognizing the substantial economic benefits this tax incentive program brings to New Yorkers,” said Mike Hodge, president of the union’s New York local. “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.”