NYS film tax credit key economic driver: comptroller

Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:32am EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state's film tax credit has generated about $7 billion in economic activity since 2004 and become a key economic driver, the state's comptroller said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers are considering extending the program through 2015 to help New York compete with similar tax incentives on offer in 42 other U.S. states, Washington D.C. and 11 Canadian provinces, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.

"There's also an intrinsic added value that's difficult to measure but very real," he said. "Visitors from all over the world come to New York because of the iconic movies and TV shows shot here."

The credit helped New York employ 63,000 workers in 2008 and pay $5 billion in wages, he said. That makes it the second-biggest film industry in the nation after California.

New York City was the main beneficiary with two-thirds of all film and TV production in the state located within the five boroughs, he said.

The largest film and TV facilities in the state -- 90-year old Kaufman Studios and Silvercup Studios in the borough of Queens and Steiner Studios in Brooklyn -- have all recently unveiled plans to expand.

Silvercup is the location for the "Gossip Girl" TV series, while Steiner Studios is location for the recent film release "Brooklyn's Finest."

(Reporting by Ciara Linnane; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)