January 3, 2005Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The last bill before me is Introductory Number 454-A, sponsored in conjunction with the Mayor by Council Members Yassky, Gioia, Miller, Clarke, Sears, Weprin, Perkins, Quinn, Nelson, Comrie, DeBlasio, Brewer, Addabbo and Gallagher.
"On August 20, 2004, Governor Pataki signed into law the 'Empire State Film Production Credit Program' providing tax incentives for feature films. The enactment of this State film credit included a NYC opt-in provision allowing for additional tax incentives to help boost the film industry. During my State of the City Address last year at Silvercup Studios, I talked about the importance of the film industry to our city-a $5 billion dollar a year industry which employs over 100,000 New Yorkers. I pledged to deliver a package of incentives that would support and attract film and television production. I am pleased that Albany has acted and we now are in a position to follow suit. This new law will allow a 5% refundable tax credit for film and television production companies in addition to the 10% tax credit qualified productions can already garner from New York State.
"This bill will allow film producers to claim a tax credit against their so-called 'below the line' costs, which include the work of costume makers, location scouts, production assistants, camera and sound technicians, caterers, background actors or 'extras', and film editors throughout the City. Up to $12.5 million in tax breaks will be available each calendar year.
"This film tax credit will make NYC more competitive and provide more jobs to professionals in this key economic sector. I am incredibly delighted to be able to sign this legislation into law. New York City is the greatest film set in the world and, this law will help return New York City to prominence as a location for film and television production, ensuring that films that are set in New York City are actually shot there.
"Diversifying our economy across all five boroughs is a key prong of our economic development strategy, and expanding our share of this important industry is essential to achieving that goal. As part of our 'Made in NY Incentive Program,' we have invested $28 million in infrastructure improvement at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to spur the development of Steiner Studios; created a marketing credit to provide free City advertising to qualifying productions that shoot here in the City; negotiated discounts on transportation and lodging for members of the industry; partnered with production companies to promote 'Made in NY' productions; secured access to premium locations for filmmakers; and expanded our concierge services to assist producers with every aspect of the production cycle, from script to screen. With this 5% tax credit added to the program, it will be more attractive than ever to bring a film or television project to our great City and to keep the jobs this industry creates here in New York.
"I would like to thank Speaker Miller, Council Members Yassky, Gioia, Clarke and Weprin and all the other Council Members who supported this legislation. I would also like to thank Katherine Oliver, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film for her work on this issue. Finally, I would like to thank the representatives of the film industry who have committed to being a vital part of a healthy NYC economy."