Local counties added to state film tax credit

Thursday, June 20, 2013
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— The Capital Region could get its own slice of Hollywood action.

An expansion of the upstate areas eligible to participate in the Empire State Film Production Tax Credit program has passed both houses of the state Legislature and is awaiting the approval of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam.

The current version of the credit, which is worth $5 million, doesn’t apply to some parts of the Capital Region, including Albany, Saratoga and Schenectady counties. The legislation would make 14 counties eligible to benefit from the credit.

Santabarbara said 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.

Proctors CEO Phillip Morris noted recent interest in filming in Schenectady County, where “The Place Beyond the Pines” was filmed in 2011.

“Knowing this funding is available to Schenectady County could mean the difference between a company choosing our area or another region of the state,” he said in a news release.

Farley echoed this sentiment, welcoming interested people in Hollywood to come to Schenectady for their next project.

“We’ve already had a success, so let’s build on that,” he said.

Even if Cuomo vetoes the bill, there would be more than enough votes, based on the initial support, to override a veto and make the proposal law.

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