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Today's Poll: Should filmmakers receive tax credits to shoot movies in New York?

By Howard B. Owens
Cheryl Wilmet

Maybe I am crazy (the jury is still out on that one) but all of these businesses, movies and whatnot get a tax credit because they will bring jobs to the area is what we are told. What about our tax breaks? The citizens spend the money at these businesses and keep the people who work there employed. The cost of everything lately is so high, it would be great to get a tax break.

May 7, 2013, 8:53am Permalink
tom hunt

Normally I would vote no to giving tax payers monies to private industry, but the film making business is such a high visibility business I support the use of tax payers money to lure them into NYS. Cheap PR for the money spent.

May 7, 2013, 9:07am Permalink
Dave Olsen

There's some really good comments after the article Howard linked to.

Cheryl you are quite correct in that only those chosen will get any tax relief. As for the rest of us, be proud Spiderman was filmed nearby when you cough up 12 bucks or whatever to go see it. I'll wait for Netflix myself. Taxes for everyone will never go down as long as the state and county governments are allowed to pick winners and losers. Just another billion dollar company getting special treatment. Shelly Stein probably thinks this is a great idea.

May 7, 2013, 9:59am Permalink
Robert Brown

If I am not mistaken, the 2013 US tax laws also give huge income tax breaks to Hollywood! Why? There is absolutely no sane reason for any of this. The reality is Hollywood is a multi-billion dollar industry with players who donate heavily to the two major parties. In return they are granted terms and conditions that protect their precious millions/billions.

In Rochester's Spiderman case, there are several local businesses who have lost income due to the decrease in foot traffic past their shops (I believe the interviews I saw were on Fox). Luring Hollywood to town with tax breaks is crap.

Fix the tax system for everyone and lure Hollywood with the quality of your region, the uniqueness of your people, the special services available for sale, and the best cost of doing business without gamesmanship.

Better yet, ignore Hollywood - its entertainment is fleeting and meaningless. Mother Nature provides more entertainment than you can imagine, for free!

May 7, 2013, 11:52am Permalink
Dan Robinson

Why should the taxpayer's support a mutli million dollar business? Just so Cuomo can brag? Really, these movies take in millions of dollars in one weekend, why shouldn't they stand on there own merit and pay their fair share of taxes. Instead our taxes go up and they get a free pass, on top of causing traffic nightmares in the city.

May 7, 2013, 12:26pm Permalink
terry paine

What taxes should they have paid?

How did taxpayer's "support" this movie company?

Taxes are like a cancer to the residents and businesses who chose to remain in this state,still we shouldn't wish this cancer on others.

May 7, 2013, 12:55pm Permalink
Dave Olsen

They don't say, Terry, it's a big secret. The official version is that the production companies don't want their expenses known, I'm sure another reason is that if one knows what the other is getting then they will want the same and we will have to give more. You know I agree completely with you regarding taxes being a cancer which afflicts us all. But this picking who gets to pay less will never allow taxes to come down across the board. The problem is the state, or the county in the case of COR doesn't reduce their budget by the same amount as the tax break given. If they did that even I might get behind it, and you would have made a great point. So then, if government is not cutting their cost, and actually the state added in $420 million or something for Hollywood, where does this money come from? Ostensibly from the increased sales taxes collected on more money spent and more income taxes brought in by more jobs. Tenuous expectations at best - all kinds of stuff can go wrong to screw those plans up. Elitist if it does work out - we will have helped a billion dollar corporation to profit greater while expecting to make it up off the backs of working stiffs and regular consumers. Outright misuse of public trust at worst - If the governments are planning to raise taxes or cut services because of a break given. In both the cases of COR and Spiderman, the profits will leave the area who gave them the break, so there's no tax gain there.

What ought to really be getting you and everyone as angry as me about this is: Your so-called representatives are taking chances with YOUR money, money they should not have control of, because it belongs to the person who earned it. If they are going to forcibly seize it, they could at least have the decency not to gamble with it.

May 7, 2013, 2:43pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Terry it is not about the taxes they paid..They received a 30% tax credit for any expenses they had during the filming ..Say they spent 1 million dollars in filming in rochester ,the state will give them 300,000 dollars to off set this cost..A credit is different then a tax break,,A credit is money the government gives you even if you didn't pay tax..Its BS..

May 7, 2013, 4:02pm Permalink
Phil Ricci

My question is and will always be...if we can afford to give a tax break, credit, abatement, et al...then why do we have them in the first place?

Just saying.

May 7, 2013, 7:13pm Permalink
Jon Whiteside

If you have to give a company a tax break, credit, or abatement to lure in businesses in the name of "economic growth," why not address the real unfriendly tax code. If helping out certain companies results in job growth, wouldn't addressing the tax code that needed to be circumvented to lure them into NY help all businesses. Everyone wants the wow factor job numbers. Yes a company that hires 100 people is great, but what if reforming the tax code allowed every small business in Genesee County to hire one more person. Seems to me that would be more people hired. Now do that across the state and imagine how many people could find work.

May 7, 2013, 8:01pm Permalink
Charlie Mallow

Not only should they not be given handouts, they should also be subject to our current gun laws. It amazes me that our Governor feels it necessary to try and exclude the those responsible for glorifying gun violence from the Safe Act.

May 8, 2013, 8:48pm Permalink

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