ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — We could see more movies and shows being filmed right here in New York. During her budget presentation, the Governor proposed expanding the film tax credit program. The Gilded Age, White House Plumbers and The Place Beyond the Pines are just some of the infamous productions filmed in New York. Currently, the film tax credit program caps credits at $420 million. Under the Governor’s proposal, it would be bumped up to $700 million.
Deb Geodeke, Albany County film commissioner said the program is a driving factor for films and productions to come to New York State. She said New York’s biggest competitors are New Jersey, Georgia, Louisiana and California. “I have some folks here in the Capital Region that are working in New Jersey because some of those projects that were here in New York state have now moved to New Jersey, so we have to remain competitive with these other states, with our film, tax credits, or we’re going to lose more business to other states,” she said.
Geodeke said the shift in tax credits would create more jobs and be good for the economy. Senator Peter Oberacker who represents Otsego County, agrees, “I would love to see a focus come into that. Bringing jobs, bringing some economic influx to those areas so if it will do what is intended to do – which is what I think the governor is proposing – it to bring that here to New York in general and to upstate New York absolutely,” said Oberacker.
But some people are skeptical about the return on investment New York would receive, including Senator James Skoufis. In a statement, Skoufis said: “The Governor’s proposal to expand the film tax credit to executive-level employees and increase the cost to a whopping $700 million dollars is irresponsible, at best…this sort of programming should be frozen at current levels until these tax credits are properly evaluated for return on investment.” The proposal was only mentioned in the state budget presentation and not yet brought to the floor.