New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently brought a bazooka to the subsidy war as he passed an expansion of the state’s film subsidy for post production:
The law signed today by the Governor increases the percentage of tax credits available for projects that did not film in New York but will now qualify for credits for post-production work done in New York. Under the new law, the qualified film and television post production credit increases from 10 percent to 30 percent in the New York metropolitan commuter region…
An additional five percent (for a total of 35 percent) in tax credits would be available for post-production expenditures in locations elsewhere in the state.
When you combine that with the fact New York pays out almost half a billion a year in film subsidies you realize this is a HUGE subsidy.
Subsidized Toronto VFX house Mr. X is opening a 4000 sq ft studio in New York:
President Dennis Berardi believes New York has numerous aspects that make it a good fit for the company, including competitive tax incentives and an established film industry.
Indian company Prime Focus announced earlier this year they will expand a 13,000 sq ft facility (No word yet if they will be charging employees a deposit to work there.) London based MPC announced it will open a 13,000 sq ft facility also last year.
For VFX professionals in New York this will probably come as good news. However as I post often on my blog: “You live by the subsidy, you die by the subsidy.” To me it looks like Governor Cuomo is doing was Governor Richardson did in New Mexico: He is intending to run for president and wants to juice employment numbers. Once he is gone the state will slowly realize how expensive the program is and dismantle it.
The NRO surprisingly had a very good op/ed on the issue: