Silver Screen Subsidies

The Story

New York State’s subsidy program for Hollywood film and television studios is notorious for giving away billions in taxpayer dollars, with dubious returns. Now it seems that a smaller but similar program allocates millions annually for the production of TV commercials in New York. It’s time that New York put an end to these corporate giveaways, which are open to political influence and don’t pay for themselves.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Handouts: New York awarded $30 million in incentives to the producers of The Wolf of Wall Street to film in the city. Read more.

  2. Generous: New York State’s film tax credit can total more than half of a production company’s annual taxable income. Read more.

  3. Cozy: Governor Cuomo just returned from a Southern California trip where he raised campaign money from film insiders. Read more.

“The commercial production tax credit provides subsidies to an industry that has strong ties to the state and is already well-established.”

David J. Friedfel, director of state studies at the independent Citizens Budget Commission

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Movie Tax Credits By Matthew Hennessey and Jared Meyer (February 2014)

“Lawmakers throw tax incentives at film makers to try to lure them to their state or city.”

And in other news...

“Councilman Corey Johnson is set to unveil a set of reforms — including putting the entire city budget online 48 hours prior to a vote — he says would boost transparency in the Council that he’d commit to if elected speaker, he told the Daily News.”