New York's Film and Tax Credit
Business Insider, 4.5.09
by Hilary Lewis
This week the New York assembly voted to approve $350 million to fund a 30% tax credit for movies and TV shows made in-state, extending a program that last year led to such a flurry of filming that the Empire State burned through its entire $460 million fund in 10 months.
HBO's In Treatment was one of the shows that took advantage of the tax credit to move from Los Angeles to Manhattan, where shows actually get a 35% break because of the city's separate 5% tax-incentive program.
--excerpted from Q&A with HBO's Showrunner Warren Leight (formerly of CI)--
TBI: Do you think the networks will factor the new money for tax credits into their decisions about whether a show gets renewed or not?
WL: If a show’s on the bubble, it’s one more factor. If it’s a $2 million-3 million an episode show and you’re not sure about [renewing] it, and you’ve just been told that there’s a tax credit that could save $400,000 an episode, that has to influence the decision. If you can produce 22 episodes for under $50 million as opposed to for $60 million, that has to be better. Last year, Law & Order: Criminal Intent was absolutely on the bubble (no one knew if it was coming back or not). And the tax credit was why they didn’t pull the plug on the show. It probably saved that show $500,000 an episode and that made the difference between that show having a seventh season or not.
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