Out of tax breaks
Bid to Lure Films Works So Well, It's Nearly Broke
By DANNY HAKIM
Published: March 14, 2006
Spurred by tax credits from the city and the state, the film and television industry has become the fastest-growing employment source in New York City, creating 10,000 jobs over the last year and pressuring California to consider similar incentives.
The industry has grown so quickly since the incentives, which provide a 15 percent credit on much of a production's expenses, began in 2004 that city officials are now considering reining them in. Officials are concerned that they are too costly and often going to productions like "The Sopranos" that were already being filmed in New York.
Since 2002, the number of production shooting days in the city has more than doubled and the number of television pilots rose to 14 in 2005 from one the year before, according to the city. Now New York even occasionally stands in for other cities. Martin Scorsese's coming film "The Departed" is set in Boston but was mostly shot last year in New York.
But the good news for the city's film industry is a mixed blessing for the city's treasury. In 13 months, the city has exhausted the $50 million it had allotted for four years' worth of tax credits for the industry, while the state has used up most of the $125 million it has allotted over five years. It is not clear if new business spurred by the program is making up the difference.
State officials want to increase financing for the credits, but city officials, concerned at the overruns, are now seeking to limit the tax breaks. Under the city's proposal, television shows would get the credit for no more than three years, while there would be a cap to the overall city funds made available each year, according to an aide to of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's who spoke on condition of anonymity because revisions to the plan were still being negotiated.
This is silly. New York is now a desired location for making movies. Why do they need to be paid to shoot here?
posted by Steve @ 12:47:00 AM