Tax Credits to Boost Upstate Film Industry

Mar 28, 2013

The final version of the state budget includes a provision aimed at boosting the film industry in upstate New York. The new tax credit creates a two-tiered system that includes a 10 percent credit for productions using particular upstate locations.

The provision takes the total available credit for filming in upstate counties to 40 percent, without altering the cost of the original credit program for taxpayers.

Senator Patrick Gallivan, (R-C-I,Elma) who represents the large 59th New York district says:

“It’s all about costs, and one of the most prohibitive costs for film productions is labor. In New York State, most of the high-skilled labor associated with film production in based in New York City. The further away from New York City a production takes place, the more expensive it is to film. A universally applied tax credit doesn’t necessarily do much for Upstate,” 

Jason Darnieder, president of WNY production company Flower City Media, says he doesn’t know if the extra credit will generate more work for his business specifically; but he’s confident it will benefit the region.

“I think upstate is an amazing region for television and production. We have beautiful scenery and great locations and diversity, and the tax credit really just adds additional benefit to come film in upstate New York.”

Darnieder says he expects production rental companies to see an upswing from the credit, with hotels and catering companies also sharing in the increased activity.

He also hopes that it’ll encourage more use of the production infrastructure available upstate.

Tim Clark, Commissioner of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission commented,

“Upstate and Western New York miss out on some film opportunities because the current incentive structure doesn’t allow us to compete with neighboring states. This new tiered film tax credit program rectifies this inequity and will really put our region on the map when studios are evaluating shoot locations.”