Thursday, July 14, 2016

Time to scrap the filming industry's tax credits?

From NY1:

The tax credt program was created so New York could compete with places like Canada and Louisiana, which were luring productions with tax incentives.

New York's credit amounts to 30 percent of most production costs, excluding actor, director and producer salaries.

The program has exploded from $25 million in credits a dozen years ago, to $420 million a year today.

Economist E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy believes the program should be scrapped. "This is a scam,” he says.

He argues that many productions getting credits would shoot in New York without them.

Shows like Saturday Night Live, which began in New York City 41 years ago. It is hard to envision the show being produced anywhere else. Yet it got a $12 million state tax credit for its 2013-14 season, the most recent records show.

“All of the claims about economic impacts and job creation are based on the premise that we would have nothing at all without the credit, which is simply ridiculous,” says McMahon.

Even a commission formed by Governor Cuomo in 2013 suggested scaling back the program, saying it didn't appear to pay for itself, a finding state officials dispute.

Critics like McMahon say the industry's glamour and its growing political clout help to protect the credit program.

NY1 found that giant entertainment companies like Fox and CBS have donated more than $900,000 to state political campaigns and committees in seven years. Officials argue if the tax credit goes, the studios will follow.


Anonymous said...

The only thing these television and movie productions do is cause a major disruption to the block. There is no benefit to the average citizen by having them here.

(sarc) said...

They seem to be benefiting political campaigns...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Last year California Governor Brown gave Hollywood 500 million in tax breaks and the Next Day several studios announced they were moving productions to Canada,Not the day before no no no the day after they got their tax payer credits.
In California they say Washington is Hollywood for ugly actors.

Anonymous said...


If you do away with it they will go to Canada for its much lower associated production costs and ease of filming.

We should do away with it anyway. Why do these people get a tax break? Did we vote on it?

Anonymous said...

“All of the claims about economic impacts and job creation are based on the premise that we would have nothing at all without the credit, which is simply ridiculous,”

Plus, look at all the locals they hire as grips and runners, and all the businesses that get their food orders.

Oops, ever mind. the crew all live out of the city, and the food is all by cooperate catering services with trucks that have NJ plates on them. my mistake.

Alexander Fraser Tytler said...

Film industry tax credit = Tax breaks for wealthy Hollywood liberals

Anonymous said...

In the NYPost today: the John Gotti biopic with John Travolta is being filmed in Cincinatti due to the tax credits (kickbacks) the movie company is provided.

I guess we don't pay enough.

Anonymous said...

""Plus, look at all the locals they hire as grips and runners, and all the businesses that get their food orders"

BULL CRAP WHAT A CROCK, sound like we have one of them Greenpoint or Brooklyn stages trolling here !!!!
#1 in NYC Grips are Union jobs controlled by the IATSE meaning: You aint getting "in that door" unless you know somebody and your a blood relative of somebody who died.
#2 The businesses they use for catering & food orders are on "The Mayors List" so they can get the tax write-off. Most of these businesses are in Manhattan.
#3 Runners: They hire perchance TWO for the run of the mill shoot, work them part time seasonal to keep them out the union and benefits then its BYE BYE SEE YA. Much like USP does. Actually shoddier conduct then slaving the UPS docks @ minimum wage during the holidays because your out on the street when its 90 gathering coffee, water bottles & crap like a slave. That’s a job ?
Wasn’t slavery was abolished in this country.

Film industry tax credit = Tax breaks for wealthy Hollywood liberals
Let them GO !

PJ said...

I'm a lifelong NYC resident. Born in Queens in 1969 and still live here.

I am also a union actor (SAG). I, and thousands of other workaday people / neighbors whom you will probably never hear of benefit from the film industry in this town. The film industry was practically born here.

I don't know if that justifies the tax breaks if they are indeed inordinate. But there are thousands of people, local people, who do indeed benefit. Just saying.

Queens Crapper said...

I think he/she was being sarcastic. The trailers all have PA plates and the catering trucks all have NJ plates. So what local businesses are benefiting? Lumber yards?

Anonymous said...

These people claim "CBS drama "Person of Interest" spent $82 million shooting 23 episodes in New York two years ago, creating 4,800 full and part-time jobs"

Yeah well a good 4000 of those jobs went to people who already worked YEARS for CBS full-time and Hollywood IAs who like to live in New York during the summer. (most sublet their Manhattan & Brooklyn pads the rest of the year.
The remaining 800? Perhaps like said catering employees in Jersey, shipping company's bringing per-fab sets and stuff in. NOBODY from here that's for sure !!

I think the only people from Queens that work these production are the cops the DOT employees putting the "No Parking" signs up and towing parked cars.

Anonymous said...

As I recall quite a few stage hands and office help from Broadway Stages gave contributions to Dizzy Lizzy's campaign, I wonder if they knew about it. One hand washes the other.

PJ said...

Hi Crappie, love your website and am a big supporter.

Not sure about any he/she being sarcastic or to what post that latest edit was aimed at.

Undoubtedly the trailers and the lights and the street closures are irritating. I wouldn't necessarily care for that outside my window either. It's an inconvenience to be sure.

I also cannot vouch for the origin of every license plate and parking permit or where the bigger money goes.

I only know that there are many decent and hard working folks on all sides of the camera who benefit from having the industry here who most folks would be glad to have as friends and neighbors.

Not everyone in showbiz has to be a household name. If there is any proof that one need not be beautiful to get work, it would be me.

I'd recommend it to anyone who is retired and wants to just be an "extra". Short, tall, missing a limb, can drive a car, has bad teeth, etc. They want people with those attributes who are willing to show up and WORK.

So anyhow, can only speak for myself. I'm not a lumber yard or a business. I am your neighbor.

JQ LLC said...

Gina Argento of Broadway Stages certainly made some contributions. Can't wait to see her in orange (which that show happens to be filmed here)

I also like to add all those classic movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s that were filmed in New York. I would like to know what they would have been like if they were filmed elsewhere, These classics were filmed here when the city was dead broke and crime and murder were rampant. From the apartment to Taxi driver to Tootsie.

And what a thorough report by NY1, a subsidiary of Time Warner entertainment conglomerate. The blink if you miss it clip of that one critic and the campaign contributions of other networks just comes off obligatory although the only revelatory thing about that 2 part 4 minute report (4 minutes!!! for 2 parts !!!) is that douchehag and that toady official love to rely on threats and innuendo so they and their hollywood hack overlords can get all the perks and space they want, whenever they want. Its their modus operandi. They are bluffing. It's the same shit Boss Stiengrabber used to pull. (but the fun size mayor gave it to him anyway, plus a city fund hemorraghing parking lot.)

In the past 15 years since mayor fun size and now with big slow, I have seen these fucks with the mass catering, giant rigs and cables all over the curbs. A lot of them with jersey plates. They seem to exist not only to make forgettable derivative shit passing as cinema, but to ruin the general public's day whether by clogging local streets and bullying commuters and residents who live where they are producing.

The biggest robbery of this plunder of tax dollars that should be spent on infrastructure, schools, and law enforcement is that the majority of what passes for entertainment is online TV series. And they only make like 10 episodes the most. Saturday night live never leaves the building yet they get these breaks. How can they threaten to leave the city? The city is their whole identity. It says so in the beginning of their outdated moldy-ass show. For 40 years.

Fuck these fucking fucks. End these credits. Let them try to recreate the aura and scenery of the city elsewhere, see how good their productions will turn out. They got CGI now anyway. Let them build their own cities on their laptops in some shack in New Hampshire. Besides we already got the jackals in REBNY making permanent towering stagesets all across the city anyway

(sarc) said...

It is so sad that there is no understanding, enjoyment, or true appreciation for sarcasm!

But then, one must realize that most are products of the Government's public education system...

Anonymous said...

Politicians are hot and horny for the film industry for the same reason that they all sport a raging hard-on for professional sports - campaign money. No doubt that politicians also receive bribes in the form of autographed memorabilia and free tickets to games and premiere screenings. Neither industry provides much to the local community in the way of permanent full time jobs that pay a living wage.

All the locals get from the film industry is inconvenience, increased traffic, and blocked off sidewalks. Is all that worth a couple minutes of footage filmed in a location that you recognize?

End the film industry tax credits.
End the professional sports industry's public land grabs, tax advantages, and publicly funded venue construction.
Let both industries move someplace else where the voters are more stupid.

Alexander Fraser Tytler said...

But there are thousands of people, local people, who do indeed benefit.

Around 300,000 people are employed by the financial services industry in the NYC area.

Should Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase get tax breaks too?

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone, this is Robert De long New Yorker and famous actor.

We need this tax credit. Without it, many people such as my friend Martin would not be able to provide for our families.

If you don't believe this is really me, I can prove it. A movie I starred in was called Raging Bull. I played a boxer and it was really good. Look it up.


Al Pacino said...

Hey Bobby!

This is Al Pacino, another life long New Yorker and famous actor.

I'd like to second what my friend and colleague Bobby De Niro said.

I definitely need these tax credits!

Don't you peons realize how hard it is to survive with a new worth estimated at $135 million?

Just When I Thought That I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In!

Most of my scripts have coffee stains on them,
that's how you know it's a Pacino script!


Al Pacino

Anonymous said...

Get "m" out !

James Franco, Matthey McConaughey and Kanye West, as spiritually told through JQ LLC said...

Hi everyone this is James Franco

As a renaissance man, thanks to these credits I have been able to perform in all aspects of art, TV and film and impose my dilletantism on everyone. And was able to garner extra funding from the rapacious but swell and good-intentioned real estate, hedge fund and private equity industries

Hi, this is Matthew McConaughey,

Thanks to these credits. I can film my lincoln commercials and have more diarrhetic soliloquys whilst driving by your vibrant towns filled with sidewalk chalkboards and overpopulated rooftops and balconies.

Hi, this is Kanye West.

I got credits bitch, this is my motherfucking town. Hey I wanna throw a concert, get my jigga Mayor Bill on the phone and tell him to close down Ridgewood. It's cool, cause Charlane's my ho.

All 3: We run this city now peasants. Bow down or get the fuck out.

Camel bladder said...

The problem is if NYC takes away these tax breaks most or a lot of the filming will go to another city that offers the candy. The professional sports teams is pretty much the same blackmail scam. If I were king of the country I would legally ban the practice on a nation wide basis. That way the cities or states that have the best tax structure for ALL BUSINESS would attract the best business. I'm not constitution expert but doesn't giving tax breaks to only certain people or businesses violet the equal protection clause of our constitution?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the tax structure was fair to begin with, there would be no need for credits. WHy should real industrial jobs be unwelcome but sissy jobs like acting be welcome?