Gov­er­nor signs film tax credit bill to ben­e­fit area

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

Gov. An­drew Cuomo signed leg­is­la­tion of­fer­ing a 40 per­cent tax credit to film­mak­ers who shoot movies in the re­gion.

Gov. An­drew Cuomo signed leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing Ul­ster and sev­eral sur­round­ing coun­ties to of­fer an ad­di­tional 10 per­cent tax credit to film­mak­ers who shoot movies in those ar­eas.

The 40 per­cent credit al­ready is avail­able in New York City and 84 per­cent of up­state coun­ties. Ul­ster, Dutchess, Orange, Sul­li­van, Greene and seven other coun­ties, how­ever, had been lim­ited to of­fer­ing tax cred­its of 30 per­cent to film­mak­ers prior to the leg­is­la­tion be­ing signed Fri­day.

The cred­its help off­set the cost of film pro­duc­tion.

“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,” Ul­ster County Ex­ec­u­tive Michael Hein said in a state­ment Fri­day evening.

Hein said Cuomo, in sign­ing the bill, “rec­og­nizes the eco­nomic im­por­tance of the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try in New York state.”

Lau­rent Re­jto, di­rec­tor of the Hud­son Val­ley Film Com­mis­sion, said in a state­ment that “film and TV pro­duc­tion brings a con­tem­po­rary, clean and so­cially re­spon­si­ble in­dus­try to the re­gion and of­fers eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, in­creased liv­ing stan­dards and cre­ates stronger com­mu­ni­ties ...”

In a sep­a­rate press re-

lease, the Hud­son Val­ley Film Com­mis­sion stated it was “over­joyed” with the leg­is­la­tion be­ing signed.

The com­mis­sion said the ad­di­tional in­cen­tive places no ad­di­tional bur­den on the ex­ist­ing state Film Tax Credit Pro­gram and al­lows the Mid-Hud­son re­gion to com­plete 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.

Ac­tress, di­rec­tor, pro­ducer and Hud­son Val­ley res­i­dent Mary Stu­art Masterson said in a state­ment she was “over the moon that Gov­er­nor Cuomo has put his faith in us.”

“With this added 10 per­cent bump in the film tax credit, the Mid-Hud­son Val­ley will be a goto lo­ca­tion for se­ries tele­vi­sion and film pro­duc­tion,” she said.

“We have the lo­ca­tions, the ta­lent, the work­force, and the ameni­ties pro­duc­ers want when choos­ing where to base their pro­duc­tions.

“Now, they also have the eco­nomic in­cen­tive to say ‘yes’ to the Mid-Hud­son Val­ley.”

State Sen. Ge­orge Ame­dore, R-Rot­ter­dam, said the ex­panded tax credit would take ef­fect im­me­di­ately.

He said too many coun­ties had been shut out of the pro­gram prior to the ex­pan­sion.

“By ex­tend­ing 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,” Ame­dore said. He said the tax cred­its would ul­ti­mately ben­e­fit the lo­cal economies.

The state Leg­is­la­ture passed the leg­is­la­tion this past spring.

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