Photo By: 
Theatrical Teamsters Local 817

Save the NY Film Tax Credits

The film and TV industry create over 100,000 jobs, mostly union, for all parts of New York State

Daniel Hinton's picture
Mar 14, 2019

The annual battle of the budget has been waging in Albany, NY. Facing a billion-dollar deficit and a hard deadline at the end of the month, some state legislators are stooping so low as to threaten one of the most successful pieces of the state economy: the film & TV industry.

Currently sitting in Assembly Ways and Means Committee is A1713 (S689 is the Senate version), which would repeal the Empire State film production and post-production tax credits. They’re unlikely to pass, as it would be a huge reversal in New York State economic policy and cultural output.

If anything, the trend is to pass more incentives, as more states are vying to attract film and TV productions. With the advent of streaming this decade, the industry has exploded. Any sort of repeal could push productions into one of New York’s northeastern neighbors.

In the year since Cynthia Nixon kicked off her gubernatorial campaign by calling for the repeal of the very same film & TV tax credits she benefitted from her whole career, New Jersey passed similar tax incentives and California extended theirs to 2025. Ben Stiller, a real New Yorker, applauded the tax program, which allowed him to film Escape at Dannemora on location in Clinton County near the Canadian border.

The New York State Film Tax Credit Program offers film productions up to $420 million per year in tax incentives and further incentivizes filming upstate, far outside of New York City. The returns are nearly $20 billion and over a 100,000 jobs generated within the state per year. Many of these jobs are union, represented by Teamsters, IATSE, and SAG-AFTRA.

As we’ve seen, the film tax credits are not without their critics. Some of them don’t like unions or the support Democratic candidates usually get from this particular industry. Other people just want to watch the world burn.

Too bad for them, most people want to watch movies and shows. Seven films nominated at this year’s Oscars benefitted from this tax program, in addition to countless classics and new series. Imagine a New York without Law & Order or Saturday Night Live. You just can’t.

Keep New York economically and culturally strong. Keep the film tax credit.

Sign up for our e-Newsletter!