A Spotlight on the Expansion of the NYS Film Tax Credit Program
On November 4 of 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Chapter 420 of the Laws of 2016 which expanded the New York State Film Tax Credit Program (NYSFTCP) for qualified production companies that produce feature films, television series, relocated television series, television pilots, television movies and/or incur post-production costs associated with the original creation of these aforementioned film productions. More specifically, this new legislation affords an additional 10% tax credit under the NYSFTCP on labor costs above $500,000 for eligible film productions to include an additional twelve counties outside of the New York Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) including, but is not limited to, Orange County, Ulster County and Sullivan County. It should be duly recalled that the MCTD includes, but is not limited to, New York City, Rockland County and Westchester County.
The bill was sponsored by New York State Assemblymember Aileen M. Gunther, D-Forestburgh and New York State Senator George A. Amedore Jr., R-Rotterdam. Assemblymember Gunther stated “the film industry has brought billions in revenue to the State of New York and expanding the film incentives program to an additional twelve counties outside the MCTD will enable our communities to tap into that revenue, while creating new jobs and advancing the local economy.” State Senator Amedore Jr. indicated “by expanding the film tax credit, we are leveling the playing field and will ensure that more counties — particularly in the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley — can take advantage of and benefit from this program.”
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein indicated in a prepared statement that “this film tax credit is integral to further expanding our creative economy, leveling the playing field among upstate counties and creating high-quality film industry jobs right here in Ulster County.” Hein said of Governor Cuomo, in signing the bill, “our Governor recognizes the economic importance of the entertainment industry in New York State.”
In a separate press release, the Hudson Valley Film Commission stated “the additional incentive places no additional burden on the existing NYSFTCP and allows the Mid-Hudson region to compete on a level playing field with other regions; produce revenue opportunities for local vendors; create a steady demand for services and hospitality; promote the region around the globe; increase opportunities for industry members and youth; create more regional opportunities for industry union members; and generate infrastructure investments locally.” The Hudson Valley Film commission further stated, “with this added 10 percent bump in the film tax credit, the Mid-Hudson Valley will be a go-to location for series television and film production.”
As a direct result of these advantageous movie and television incentives, New York State filmmakers will be able to ecstatically end their productions saying, “lights, camera, action and tax cut!”
Peter J. Scalise serves as the Federal Tax Credits & Incentives Practice Leader for the Americas at Prager Metis CPAs, LLC a member of The Prager Metis International Group. Peter is a highly distinguished BIG 4 Alumni Tax Practice Leader and has over twenty years of progressive CPA Firm experience developing, managing and leading multi-million dollar tax advisory practices on a regional, national, and global level. Peter serves on both the Board of Directors and Board of Editors for The American Society of Tax Professionals (ASTP). Peter is the Founding President and Chairman of both The Northeastern Region Tax Roundtable and The Washington National Tax Roundtable, operating divisions of ASTP.