HURLEYVILLE, NY — To encourage film and television producers to create programming in upstate New York counties, two years ago the state expanded the New York State (NYS) Film Tax Credit Program. …
HURLEYVILLE, NY — To encourage film and television producers to create programming in upstate New York counties, two years ago the state expanded the New York State (NYS) Film Tax Credit Program. The expansion allows for productions that have budgets of $500,000 or more to receive an additional 10% for certain expenses related to film and television production on top of other incentives for the industry.
Some 37 counties qualify for the extra incentive, but Sullivan, Ulster, Orange, and Dutchess were left out. The goal of the incentive is to try to attract filmmakers to counties far away from New York City. That hasn’t worked out as planned, and now Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther sees the expanded incentives as a major missed opportunity in Sullivan and the other three counties. She arranged a press conference in Hurleyville on March 10, to bring attention to the issue with hopes of getting new legislation passed this session to include the four counties in the program.
Gunther said the legislation she is backing, which would allow Sullivan and the other counties to qualify for the 10% additional tax incentive “is about fairness” and about ensuring that the local economy is based on more than one industry.
Mike Hein, the county executive of Ulster County, also spoke and also said the issue was fairness. He said, “Of all the upstate counties in New York, 84% of them are included in this 10% tax credit… We’re talking about simply being able to compete, not with other counties, but with other states and other countries.” Hein noted that the state of Georgia now has similar tax incentives resulting in an increase in financial impact from “$260 million, before they began, to $6 billion of financial impact just last year.”
Actress Mary Stuart Masterson, who is in the process of opening a film and television studio in Kingston, said the 10% incentive would make an important difference in attracting television production, especially, to the region.
Laurent Rejto, the driving force behind the Hudson Valley Film Commission, and Ramsay Adams, the executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, also spoke in favor of the legislation.
The Hurleyville Arts Centre
The press conference was held at the Hurleyville Arts Center, which is one of the buildings being renovated and remade by the Center for Discovery, in a process that is transforming the face of Hurleyville.
The center will not officially open until late summer or early fall, and is waiting for final approval from the New York State Department of Transportation regarding the configuration of the parking area.
The building features a 130-seat movie theater, along with a grand ballroom on the second story, as well as performance and rehearsal spaces for a wide array of activities.
The building was endowed by Janet Carrus, a long-time benefactor and board member of the Center for Discovery.
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