Incentive to Film

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New York Times Metro reporter Christine Haughney writes about the film and television industry need for tax incentives to continue to work in New York.


Christine Haughney

Comments [19]

Chuck Renaud

Please help save film production in NYC.

Jobs are already being lost.

"The last month has been especially hard for New York’s TV and film production businesses because the state’s tax incentive program ran out of money. No pilots were filmed in New York , and the city has already lost one television series, Fringe, which is relocating production to Vancouver."

I urge you to extend and enhance the New York State Film and TV Tax Incentive. New York State demonstrated extraordinary foresight by enacting the2004 Film and Television Tax Incentive Program. Over the past several years, workers in New York's entertainment industry have experienced unprecedented job growth.

During a time of severe economic crisis, the industry has essentially created thousands of solid, middle-class, union jobs with benefits. This job growth would not have been possible without the Film and TV Tax Incentive Program.

The State and City of New York combined will collect $220 million more tax revenue than is paid out in production tax credit to motion picture and television producers.

For every $1 of tax credits issued, $1.90 in tax revenues are collected.

Mar. 05 2009 01:43 PM

Oh, and by the way, film crews cannot legally stop you from walking down a public street unless the city has issued them a permit to completely close that street down (which is very seldom). They can only ask for your cooperation in waiting for them to complete a shot before walking through. If you really have to be somewhere, they can't stop you from walking on public property (private property is another matter). You are well within your rights to make them wait for you if you don't have the time to wait for them. Keep in mind though, that you may cost a kid who is supposed to stop people from walking into the shot their job if you do. =)

Mar. 05 2009 11:19 AM
Michael from astoria, NY

I appreciate what an inconvenience film shoots are on the streets of NY. But when we’re talking about not only loosing tax revenue for the city and state, but putting hundreds if not a thousands of people on unemployment, further draining our state’s resources, wouldn’t you be willing to put up with a bit of inconvenience if it meant we had an additional $1.91 billion (that’s right, billion) to spend on education, hospitals, transportation or any of the other state services who’s budgets are being slashed? $1.91 billion is the amount of tax revenue we took in AFTER you subtract the $690 million in tax credits.

Those movies and TV shows are going to get made somewhere, it’s just a question of who gets the business. Ethically, I don’t see why movie and television producers deserve any kind of tax break. I understand the outrage at the thought of giving them a discount when so many others are in real need of help, and I don’t like that they take up parking and block sidewalks. But to just say no to over a billion dollars that we desperately need here in NY, because of that emotional response to the industry, is cutting off our nose to spite our face.

I strongly suggest that every New Yorker write to Governor Paterson or email him at his web site:

Write to your state assembly person and your state senator and tell them that you want that $1.9 billion for New York. Because if we lose it, it’s not just going to go to other states, it’s going to go to other countries. Tell them that we need it here!

Mar. 05 2009 11:10 AM
chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

For those of you who reside in New York, please contact Governor David A. Paterson, Speaker of the Assembly/Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith, as well as your representatives in the NY Senate and the Assembly.

Click here to find your New York State Senator:

Click here to find your New York State Assembly Member:

Mar. 04 2009 12:58 PM
chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

Billbad and Catherine,

Please get real.

Why don't you raise your fists and yell "Those pesky film crews!"


Mar. 04 2009 12:56 PM
chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

More time should be spent on this. More than just two minutes tacked on to the end of the show. Everyone loves porn and babies, but come on.

I don't think people realize how much money this business brings into the city directly and indirectly.

Since the end of April 2008, more than 100 film and television productions have come to New York and are spending over $1.8 billion in the New York economy. Thanks in a very large part to the tax incentive.

Mar. 04 2009 12:49 PM
John Senter from NYC

John from NYC:
Many relevant previous comments. The incentive program worked well, has been "revenue positive" for NYC and NY State, and should be continued and funded. I have colleagues who were working in good, family wage production jobs; their shows and their jobs are moving away. For several years, the products of the arts and entertainment industry have been some of the leading exports of the U.S.A. And, yes, some New Yorkers are inconvenienced by shoots.

Mar. 04 2009 12:28 PM
Scott from Brooklyn

I work in the industry. How can I sign the petition to ask
the governor to extend these revenue generating tax breaks?

Mar. 04 2009 12:14 PM
catherine from Brooklyn

I live in Brooklyn beneath the Williamsburg Bridge, and at least once a week our neighborhood is impaired by "no parking" signs and full of trailers and food tents. While I appreciate the revenue that is brought to New York City by the tax incentive, it is maddening that our neighborhood which suffers derelict sidewalks (due to broken glass, garbage and cracked cement), a lack of trash cans & parks, does not receive proper care in exchange for the compromises we make for TV and film production.

Mar. 04 2009 12:04 PM
billbad from NYC

Something that is not getting talked about is how much these film crews disrupt life in the neighborhoods where they film. I live in an area where there are productions on a regular basis and I can not even begin to tell you how sick I am of coming home after a long day nad being told I can't walk down my street because they are filming. I get no compensation for that, or for any of the other problems these film crews cause when they come to film. I wish they would go to Canada. I really love how in these times they are threating to leave the country and out source American jobs. What a joke.

Mar. 04 2009 12:02 PM
MikeInBrklyn from Brooklyn


first of all New York is no longer NY, given the continuous destruction of the city's character historic character.

Secondly, there is no equivalence between this tax credit and the bailout fever gripping the country. This credit simply levels the playing field, but more importantly creates tax revenue. This should be a "no brainer" for the pols in Albany


Mar. 04 2009 11:57 AM
j from nyc

it's called F-R-E-E advertising for NYC, because most of the shows/movies are shown internationally.
it's also called tourism.
can't understate the influence of Law&Order, can we?

Mar. 04 2009 11:57 AM
Karen Slade from Brooklyn

this is how independent filmmakers can get their projects off the ground. not all of us are studio funded nor do we want to be.

to get a third of my budget from a tax break is key to my being able to make a movie. trying to raise all private equity is incredibly difficult.

Mar. 04 2009 11:56 AM

can't the film industry man up and act like good capitalists! That's right, forget tax breaks--i'm talkin boku bailout billions! tarp2, baby!

Mar. 04 2009 11:56 AM
j from nyc

it's also F-R-E-E advertising for NYC internationally, because most of the shows and movies here are global.
it's also called tourism and a positive reputation for NYC and the state.
can't understate the influence of Law&Order, now, can we?

Mar. 04 2009 11:55 AM
Karen Slade from Brooklyn

I am an independent filmmaker and getting 30% of my budget from tax incentives enables my independent film to happen.

not all of us are studio funded nor do we want to be studio funded. it is VERY difficult to raise all of the equity for an independent production.

i will have to go to Louisiana or Pennsylvania now...and of curse I would rather stay here!

Mar. 04 2009 11:54 AM
chuck Renaud from Brooklyn

With the tax incentive for every $1 of tax credits issued, $1.90 in tax revenues are collected.

It just makes sense to keep it.

We are already loosing Fringe because they figure they will loose this incentive. They are going to Vancouver next year.

Mar. 04 2009 11:54 AM
r. d. from Inwood

Anything to do with film is expensive, always has been. So when you throw out these huge sums to the general audience, it sounds like we're being gluttons.

The seasonal nature of the business means that many below the line workers are unemployed for a lot of the year.

Mar. 04 2009 11:53 AM
Shanes from New York City

One (very trivial) benefit of the subsidy is that you get films that are supposed to take place in NYC being SHOT in NYC (as opposed to Chicago or a some studio set). For those who live in the city and can pick out the buildings and neighborhoods, this is always a real treat. It adds something to a film to see a scene actually shot at the Fulton Fish Market rather than, say, Baltimore.

Mar. 04 2009 11:52 AM

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