N.Y. lawmakers delay vote on tax incentives

Move was expected Thursday, but state Senate adjourns

NEW YORK -- The New York entertainment industry will have to sit tight until after the holiday weekend for a long-awaited five-year production tax credit program worth $420 million a year.

New York state lawmakers are expected to vote next week on revised budget provisions that include the incentives.

The state Assembly and Senate were supposed to adopt a final budget bill based on the governor's proposal by April 1, but political conflict and chaos has dragged out the budget process for three months.

Midweek, it looked as if a final vote on revenue-generating portions of the budget, which include the film and TV incentives, would come Thursday. But the state Senate adjourned before a vote.

Lawmakers in the state Assembly and Senate have passed parts of the budget in piecemeal fashion in recent days.

The governor's original proposal for the revenue generation portion of the budget bill included a continuation of a 30% tax credit for film and TV productions through 2014 with some fine-tuning of eligibility criteria designed to focus the benefits on state businesses.

These details are believed to be intact in the current version of the Senate bill.

The incentives, worth $420 million a year or $2.1 billion over five years, would be larger than the one-time $350 million production incentives allocation made last year that ended up being exhausted early this year.

The budget provisions also meet the industry's demands for a longer-term commitment that many say is key to attracting TV shows.

While some states are facing mounting criticism of production tax credits, the entertainment industry in the Empire State has touted an Ernst & Young study that has shows that past incentives have boosted New York's tax revenue and led to job creation.

According to industry research, the state not only creates jobs but also gets $1.90 in tax revenue for every dollar of tax credits, which generally get redeemed only one or two years after film or TV money flows into state coffers.
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