ALBANY, NY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo late Wednesday vetoed legislation that would have expanded a film-tax credit to the Hudson Valley and Albany area, saying he's concerned it would hurt efforts to drive productions to areas of upstate.
In March, the state Legislature included in the 2013-14 state budget an additional 10 percent tax credit for productions in 40 counties outside the New York City area, Hudson Valley and Capital region. The areas include western New York and the Southern Tier in an effort to push movies and shows to be made outside the New York City area, where most of the productions have been located.
But after the budget, lawmakers sought to expand the additional 10 percent tax break to the New York City suburbs and the Albany area -- including Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Saratoga, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Cuomo said the expansion would infringe on the intent of the new tax breaks.
The state this year expanded the film-tax credit program for five years. "It is anticipated that these additional credits, which will be available from 2015 through 2019, will attract filmmakers to upstate New York where film productions has historically lagged," Cuomo said in his veto message.
The state offers $420 million a year to lure film and television productions to New York, and the program is one of the more lucrative in the nation -- leading New York to become a leader in productions.
The state gives a 30 percent tax credit to productions for many expenses, up from 10 percent in 2004. The additional 10 percent goes to the 40 counties, including Monroe, Erie, Broome, Tompkins and Chemung counties.
A review by Gannett's Albany Bureau last month as part of its "Rebuilding New York's Economy" series found that some of the tax breaks go to shows and movies tied to New York City. They included "Sex and the City 2," HBO's "Bored to Death" based in Brooklyn and "Saturday Night Live".