Nov 25, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

N.Y. tax program gets one more year

Final score on the future of New York’s production tax credit program: film 1, TV 0.

A new $350 million in tax credits are due to be signed into the budget by Gov. David Paterson today, but the program is guaranteed to continue only for one year. Some biz-friendly lawmakers and industry leaders are worried that the extension to the tax credit program won’t be enough to keep up the crucial influx of TV shows into New York. That limitation could prove much more harmful in 2009-10 than it would have in previous fiscal years.

There’s frustration with the new plan, tempered with gratitude, on both sides of the negotiating table. Paterson’s original budget had allocated no further credits for the program at all, but the compromise reached last week feels to many in the biz like too little for too short a time frame.

The crux of the problem, according to lawmakers who support the extension of the program, is that most of their colleagues in Albany see the $350 million in credits as a budget outlay, when in fact it’s an allocation for refunds that are issued long after a given production has already paid out far more in local and state taxes than it will receive in a refund. In effect, it’s a tax credit that more than pays for itself in terms of new lensing activity attracted to the state.

“One of the difficulties in this has been explaining that the more we spend, the more we make,” explained Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. “And even people who do understand it refuse to view it that way in the context of the budget. The $350 million is viewed as a $350 million outlay. It’s difficult to get people to understand that by limiting this program, we’re limiting our own revenue.”

With Wall Street’s woes and the demise of institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the state needs to do everything it can to nurture its tax base.

“A lot of people have said it’s crucial to diversify our economy beyond financial services,” Gianaris said. “And in that respect as well as others, (the tax credit program) has been a smashing success… I hope that before we do too much damage to the industry, we go back and fix it.”

Gianaris and others hope the increased allotment will be enough to retain New York’s current TV shows — “30 Rock,” “In Treatment,” “Ugly Betty” and “Law and Order,” among others. But some old shows and several new ones are moving away. The state will lose revenue from Fox’s “Fringe,” which moved to Vancouver, and ABC’s “Life on Mars,” which was canceled; the pilot for a prospective new ABC series, “Empire State,” is shooting in Rhode Island.

John Johnston, head of the New York Production Alliance, observed that warning signs have been around for months now. Only two broadcast network pilots have lensed in Gotham this pilot season vs. 16 last year.

“We can’t revise the program on a year-to-year basis and expect television series to relocate to New York,” Johnston said. “On the one hand, history tells us that we’ll easily use (the new $350 million) within a year, and it doesn’t preclude big features coming into the city, but we’re just not gonna see the series.”

Johnston’s constituency has the most to lose from the absence of new TV shows: The studios can go to other states, but local unions have to take local work. Still, Johnston says everyone is grateful that they have something to tide them over. “We pretty much have got a lifeline here — we are appreciative and grateful that the governor and the legislature have recognized the importance of the business. They’re getting killed from all sides on this budget.”

The last month has seen protests in Albany, unflattering media coverage of the governor and much griping over cutbacks and fare hikes at the MTA, so it’s unsurprising that the film tax credit was not at the top of lawmakers’ to-do list.

But not everyone in Gotham’s production community is bemoaning the limits on the program. Doug Steiner, prexy of Steiner Studios and the architect of the original incentive program that bowed in 2005, said the $350 million is a good sign of support from Albany given the state of the economy and the furor surrounding the state’s $14 billion budget deficit.

Steiner suggests that this is “the right signal to Hollywood. We’ve gone to Albany four times and we’ve always gotten what we’ve requested, and we can go back. As times improve and things level out, it’ll be easier.”

Source: Variety

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Headline, Industry News

N.Y. tax program gets one more year

Final score on the future of New York’s production tax credit program: film 1, TV 0.

A new $350 million in tax credits are due to be signed into the budget by Gov. David Paterson today, but the program is guaranteed to continue only for one year. Some biz-friendly lawmakers and industry leaders are worried that the extension to the tax credit program won’t be enough to keep up the crucial influx of TV shows into New York. That limitation could prove much more harmful in 2009-10 than it would have in previous fiscal years.

There’s frustration with the new plan, tempered with gratitude, on both sides of the negotiating table. Paterson’s original budget had allocated no further credits for the program at all, but the compromise reached last week feels to many in the biz like too little for too short a time frame.

The crux of the problem, according to lawmakers who support the extension of the program, is that most of their colleagues in Albany see the $350 million in credits as a budget outlay, when in fact it’s an allocation for refunds that are issued long after a given production has already paid out far more in local and state taxes than it will receive in a refund. In effect, it’s a tax credit that more than pays for itself in terms of new lensing activity attracted to the state.

“One of the difficulties in this has been explaining that the more we spend, the more we make,” explained Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. “And even people who do understand it refuse to view it that way in the context of the budget. The $350 million is viewed as a $350 million outlay. It’s difficult to get people to understand that by limiting this program, we’re limiting our own revenue.”

With Wall Street’s woes and the demise of institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the state needs to do everything it can to nurture its tax base.

“A lot of people have said it’s crucial to diversify our economy beyond financial services,” Gianaris said. “And in that respect as well as others, (the tax credit program) has been a smashing success… I hope that before we do too much damage to the industry, we go back and fix it.”

Gianaris and others hope the increased allotment will be enough to retain New York’s current TV shows — “30 Rock,” “In Treatment,” “Ugly Betty” and “Law and Order,” among others. But some old shows and several new ones are moving away. The state will lose revenue from Fox’s “Fringe,” which moved to Vancouver, and ABC’s “Life on Mars,” which was canceled; the pilot for a prospective new ABC series, “Empire State,” is shooting in Rhode Island.

John Johnston, head of the New York Production Alliance, observed that warning signs have been around for months now. Only two broadcast network pilots have lensed in Gotham this pilot season vs. 16 last year.

“We can’t revise the program on a year-to-year basis and expect television series to relocate to New York,” Johnston said. “On the one hand, history tells us that we’ll easily use (the new $350 million) within a year, and it doesn’t preclude big features coming into the city, but we’re just not gonna see the series.”

Johnston’s constituency has the most to lose from the absence of new TV shows: The studios can go to other states, but local unions have to take local work. Still, Johnston says everyone is grateful that they have something to tide them over. “We pretty much have got a lifeline here — we are appreciative and grateful that the governor and the legislature have recognized the importance of the business. They’re getting killed from all sides on this budget.”

The last month has seen protests in Albany, unflattering media coverage of the governor and much griping over cutbacks and fare hikes at the MTA, so it’s unsurprising that the film tax credit was not at the top of lawmakers’ to-do list.

But not everyone in Gotham’s production community is bemoaning the limits on the program. Doug Steiner, prexy of Steiner Studios and the architect of the original incentive program that bowed in 2005, said the $350 million is a good sign of support from Albany given the state of the economy and the furor surrounding the state’s $14 billion budget deficit.

Steiner suggests that this is “the right signal to Hollywood. We’ve gone to Albany four times and we’ve always gotten what we’ve requested, and we can go back. As times improve and things level out, it’ll be easier.”

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

N.Y. tax program gets one more year

Final score on the future of New York’s production tax credit program: film 1, TV 0.

A new $350 million in tax credits are due to be signed into the budget by Gov. David Paterson today, but the program is guaranteed to continue only for one year. Some biz-friendly lawmakers and industry leaders are worried that the extension to the tax credit program won’t be enough to keep up the crucial influx of TV shows into New York. That limitation could prove much more harmful in 2009-10 than it would have in previous fiscal years.

There’s frustration with the new plan, tempered with gratitude, on both sides of the negotiating table. Paterson’s original budget had allocated no further credits for the program at all, but the compromise reached last week feels to many in the biz like too little for too short a time frame.

The crux of the problem, according to lawmakers who support the extension of the program, is that most of their colleagues in Albany see the $350 million in credits as a budget outlay, when in fact it’s an allocation for refunds that are issued long after a given production has already paid out far more in local and state taxes than it will receive in a refund. In effect, it’s a tax credit that more than pays for itself in terms of new lensing activity attracted to the state.

“One of the difficulties in this has been explaining that the more we spend, the more we make,” explained Assemblyman Michael Gianaris. “And even people who do understand it refuse to view it that way in the context of the budget. The $350 million is viewed as a $350 million outlay. It’s difficult to get people to understand that by limiting this program, we’re limiting our own revenue.”

With Wall Street’s woes and the demise of institutions like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the state needs to do everything it can to nurture its tax base.

“A lot of people have said it’s crucial to diversify our economy beyond financial services,” Gianaris said. “And in that respect as well as others, (the tax credit program) has been a smashing success… I hope that before we do too much damage to the industry, we go back and fix it.”

Gianaris and others hope the increased allotment will be enough to retain New York’s current TV shows — “30 Rock,” “In Treatment,” “Ugly Betty” and “Law and Order,” among others. But some old shows and several new ones are moving away. The state will lose revenue from Fox’s “Fringe,” which moved to Vancouver, and ABC’s “Life on Mars,” which was canceled; the pilot for a prospective new ABC series, “Empire State,” is shooting in Rhode Island.

John Johnston, head of the New York Production Alliance, observed that warning signs have been around for months now. Only two broadcast network pilots have lensed in Gotham this pilot season vs. 16 last year.

“We can’t revise the program on a year-to-year basis and expect television series to relocate to New York,” Johnston said. “On the one hand, history tells us that we’ll easily use (the new $350 million) within a year, and it doesn’t preclude big features coming into the city, but we’re just not gonna see the series.”

Johnston’s constituency has the most to lose from the absence of new TV shows: The studios can go to other states, but local unions have to take local work. Still, Johnston says everyone is grateful that they have something to tide them over. “We pretty much have got a lifeline here — we are appreciative and grateful that the governor and the legislature have recognized the importance of the business. They’re getting killed from all sides on this budget.”

The last month has seen protests in Albany, unflattering media coverage of the governor and much griping over cutbacks and fare hikes at the MTA, so it’s unsurprising that the film tax credit was not at the top of lawmakers’ to-do list.

But not everyone in Gotham’s production community is bemoaning the limits on the program. Doug Steiner, prexy of Steiner Studios and the architect of the original incentive program that bowed in 2005, said the $350 million is a good sign of support from Albany given the state of the economy and the furor surrounding the state’s $14 billion budget deficit.

Steiner suggests that this is “the right signal to Hollywood. We’ve gone to Albany four times and we’ve always gotten what we’ve requested, and we can go back. As times improve and things level out, it’ll be easier.”

Source: Variety

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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