The future of New York's film industry in question

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-27 17:44:42-05

New York lawmakers will have some tough decisions to make regarding the future of the film industry in New York. 

New York State Senator Rob Ortt introduced a bill to repeal the tax credit incentives for films, movies, and tv shows. 

The Republican lawmaker said the state has a nearly $4 billion dollar budget deficit and giving nearly $450 million a year to Hollywood is the last thing New York needs to be doing. 

“ There is going to be several things we are going to have to cut. But this just seems to be some low hanging fruit. This to me seems nothing more than a give back and big thank you to an industry that collectively supported the governor and his party,” Ortt said. 

However, New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan, who’s also a Republican supports the incentives. Gallivan said the film industry has a significant economic impact on Western New York. The incentives are needed to compete with other states. 

“I’m convicted this is a good thing for Western New York until we can change the environment in New York State as it relates to regulation on taxation, “ Gallivan said. 

According to Camoin Associates Economic Development Firm for every $1 dollar the state gives in tax credits, it gets $1.15 back. 

In 2017, there were 8 movies filmed in Western New York using tax credits.  According to the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, nearly 2,600 Western New Yorkers were hired for full time jobs on these films. Another 2,000 people were hired to be extras. 

Commissioner Tim Clarke said these movies had at least a  $40 million dollar impact on Western New York. Much of spent at hotels, restaurants, fuel, and other area businesses. 

A lot of Western New York freelance actors, production assistants, and set crews are worried this credit will go away and their work will dry up. 

New York’s current film incentive program expires in 2019. State lawmakers will have to decide on keeping or losing it.