Cuomo Suggests Ending New York Film Tax Incentives In Response to Failed Amazon Deal

IndieWire | 3/21/2019 | Staff
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No one stuck his neck out further to lure Amazon to build its new HQ in Queens than New York Governor Cuomo. When Amazon walked from the deal due to protests over the fact it amounted to a $3 billion giveaway to the most valuable public company in the world, Cuomo let his displeasure be known.

The Governor, who believed the Amazon deal would be an enormous job creator, is now prepared to let the state’s $420 million dollar Film Tax Credit Program, which offers a 30 percent rebate on in-state below-the-line production costs, to be cut from the upcoming budget to prove his point.

Senate - Position - Amazon - Tax - Incentives

“The Senate’s position was very clear on Amazon, ‘We are against tax incentives to bring business to New York.’ That’s why Amazon is gone,” Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday, according to the New York Post. “I can see them being wholly consistent…saying and ‘that’s why we’re against the film tax credit’ because it’s the exact same point.”

Cuomo has been arguing for weeks that the State legislature is overspending and its proposed budget is $3 billion over his proposed budget of $174 billion. As the Post points out, using the film tax incentive as leverage is a clear political shot at Senator Mike Gianaris from Queens, who was the key opponent to the Amazon deal, but whose borough has benefited from the New York production boom, with Silvercup Studios in his backyard.

Amazon - Deal - Cuomo - Supporter - Film

Before the Amazon deal fell apart, Cuomo had been a staunch supporter of the Film Tax Incentive, which he himself has recognized as being responsible for the state’s current production boom, which includes over 60 scripted TV shows and seven late-night shows last season alone.

In fact, it was less than two years ago Cuomo led the charge...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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