State Senator George Onorato (D-Queens), who consistently stressed the significant economic importance of New York State’s film and television production tax credit throughout negotiations on the 2009-2010 State Budget, today noted that the program was provided with $350 million in the final state spending plan approved by the State Legislature last week.
"During such dire fiscal times as these, I am particularly pleased that we were able to reinvest in this important program," said Senator Onorato, whose Queens Senate district is home to both Silvercup Studios and Kaufman-Astoria Studios. "By providing new funding for the film and television production credit, we will help to maintain and create jobs in the industry, as well as support other local businesses that benefit from the productions."
Senator Onorato wrote to Governor Paterson and other government leaders early in budget negotiations to urge that new funding be provided for the program, which ran out of money in February. "The program was basically a victim of its own success," the Queens lawmaker said, noting that the $690 million initially allocated for tax credits by the State was expected to last through 2013.
"While I wish that we were able to provide even more funding for the program, I am glad that the Legislature and Governor – even in the face of a $17.7 billion state budget deficit – recognized the value of these tax credits in helping to get our economy back on track," said Senator Onorato. "This tax credit program more than pays for itself in increased business activity, and this is just the kind of economic engine we need to move forward in these very difficult times. I am hopeful that, in the future, we can provide more support for a program that has provided exceptional benefits for Queens, New York City and the state as a whole."