The film industry, which has enjoyed record growth since the state started its tax incentive plan five years ago, is being hit with a number of new obstacles that could wreck the business and send longtime hits like Law & Order packing to cheaper locales.
The latest shock to the industry is a plan by the city to charge the largest fees in the nation for filming in its buildings. The Mayor's film office is also drawing up plans to charge for its famous free permits. Even more troubling, the city's tax incentive program is out of money and in the process of being scaled back, and the state is in negotiations over whether to renew its tax incentives. The quadruple whammy is pushing the production industry into its most precarious time since the dark days of the early '90s, when Hollywood boycotted New York and nothing was shot here at all.