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New York triples its post-production tax credit

On Location

July 27, 2012|By Richard Verrier
  • Steve Buscemi, Natalie Wachen and Michael Kenneth Williams appear in HBO's series "Boardwalk Empire," which shoots in New York.
Steve Buscemi, Natalie Wachen and Michael Kenneth Williams appear in HBO's… (Macall B. Pola / HBO )

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill which triples that state’s post-production tax credit, a punch in the gut to Southern California’s own film and TV community already struggling to keep business in the Golden State.

The law increases the credit to 30% (35% for upstate New York), from 10%, on post-production costs and is the first of its kind in the country, said the Post New York Alliance, an association of film and television post-production facilities and labor unions operating in New York.

The credit will give New York another competitive advantage over its main rival California, which does not offer a specific credit targeting post-production expenses for such costs as visual effects -- commonly a big part of movie budgets

The new tax credit differs from the current program in that it can apply to projects that are not shot in New York. California's film credit does count visual effects costs, but movies have to be shot in the state to qualify.

New York is having a record year for television production driven by its film tax credit program. The state allocates more than $400 million a year to attract film and TV productions, compared with $100 million in California, where lawmakers are weighing a bill to extend the program.

“This new tax credit provides a wonderful opportunity to grow an already vibrant post-production industry in New York,” said Domenic Rom, executive vice president of Technicolor–PostWorks New York. “We are sincerely grateful to the governor’s office for taking this action, which will provide a direct and immediate benefit to the hard-working men and women of our industry.”

The primary goal is to encourage projects to bring their post-production work to New York state, although projects must spend at least 75% of post-production costs in New York to qualify, the alliance said.

The bill drew immediate praise from filmmakers. "This tax credit signals that the New York post-production community is about to expand by leaps and bounds,'' said Matt Leonetti, head of physical production for Good Universe, which is producing director Spike Lee's film"Oldboy" in New Orleans this fall. "We love bringing our shows to New York to post, and we'll be able to bring many of them there because of this credit."

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