Expansion of film tax credit sent to governor

By Lombardo David
Friday, November 1, 2013

Gov. Andrew Cuomo now has to decide whether he wants Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady and other upstate counties to be eligible for the the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit.

The proposed expansion of the credit, which currently can't be applied to 14 counties, was put on the governor's desk today and he has until Nov. 13 to act. The bill is sponsored by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam.

About $5 million is currently available in tax credits under the program.

Santabarbara previously told the Gazette that the expansion of the credit will ensure the Capital Region is able to compete to bring film companies to the region. Farley said a film production in the region would be a huge job producer.

Schenectady County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Commission Chairman Marty Finn said in a statement in June that the credit gives Schenectady County an outstanding chance to aggressively compete for new opportunities in the film and television industries. He described it as a "major step forward!”

If Cuomo decided not to approve the expansion, the bill was passed with enough votes to override his veto, although that's not a likely development.

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