Cuomo blocks tax break for music, video game producers

Cuomo Vetoes Music, Video Game Tax Breaks

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo nixed a bill late Monday that would have created $50 million a year in tax credits for those who produce music or video games in New York.

The tax credits would have been similar to those already offered to film and television producers, which cost the state up to $420 million each year and are often touted by Cuomo for re-energizing the industry in New York.

But in a veto message late Monday, Cuomo faulted the new bill for failing to have a way to pay for the new credits, which would have been capped annually at $25 million each for video game and music producers.

"I fully support the music and digital gaming industries," Cuomo wrote. "However, the Legislature has passed a bill that creates two new tax credit programs totaling $50 million, without any accompanying funding."

Lawmakers passed the tax credits in mid-June, just before the Legislature ended its annual session at the Capitol.

The bill would have created a credit for 25 percent of eligible production costs, plus an additional 10 percent if the production work occurred north of the New York City suburbs.

Supporters of the bill said it would help bolster the music and digital-gaming industries in New York and cement the state as a home base for both.

Critics of the bill praised Cuomo's veto, saying the credit was too expensive and unnecessary.

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, R-Fishkill, Dutchess County, said the credit would have amounted to "wasteful corporate welfare."

"Corporate welfare doesn't work, and I hope Governor Cuomo will take this opportunity to take a second look at all of the expensive, failed and corrupt corporate welfare programs across New York," Lalor said in a statement.

The bill was one of 72 vetoed by Cuomo late Monday, when he faced an end-of-day deadline to act. He approved 61.


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