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Tax credit boosts boro’s film industry

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Passed last week in the Senate and Assembly as part of the state budget, the bill offers a 10 percent tax credit to companies that film 75 percent of their product in New York, said Gianaris, a leading advocate of the initiative. "For years, New York has been losing jobs and tax revenue to places like Toronto that offer significant tax incentives for film production," Gianaris said. "This measure will level the playing field and bring the stars back to the city that never sleeps." Under the program, the state commits $25 million a year for the next four years - $100 million total - to local film production. It also authorizes New York City to provide up to $12.5 million a year in additional funds, making it a $37.5 million program annually, Gianaris said. New York City, and western Queens in particular, is home to several major film and television studios.Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, the city's largest full-service production facility with five, 16,000-square foot stages, handles production for HBO's "Sopranos" and the ABC sitcom "Hope & Faith." The legendary Kaufman Astoria Studios, which features the largest single stage outside of Hollywood, is gearing up for a major $15 million expansion to its 14-acre lot in Astoria. Dozens of successful films and television shows have been filmed on its six stages, including "The Cosby Show" "Scent of A Woman" and most recently "The Stepford Wives."While New York has the second-largest concentration of motion picture work in the nation, like the rest of the country it has been losing much activity to Canadian competition.The tax credit should help stop that trend, Gianaris said. Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or at 718-229-0300 ext. 156.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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