Even After Amazon, Lawmakers Won't Touch NY's $6.5 Billion Film Subsidy Program
Of all the strange moments in the wake of the collapse of Andrew Cuomo's Amazon HQ2 deal, the strangest may have been when the governor used the uproar over giving $3 billion in tax breaks to Jeff Bezos's tech giant to argue for the elimination of a subsidy that he himself has championed.
“The Senate’s position was very clear on Amazon, ‘We are against tax incentives to bring business to New York,’" Cuomo told reporters last month during the run-up to budget talks. To be "wholly consistent," he continued, state legislators should say "‘that’s why we’re against the film tax credit’ because it’s the exact same point.”
The governor didn't mean it, of course — something he made clear when he snuck a two-year extension to the film tax credit into the final state budget. Cuomo's threat to eliminate the program — which currently provides $427 million a year to underwrite the costs of film and TV productions in New York, by far the state's largest corporate subsidy program — was, State Senator Liz Krueger told the Albany Times Union last week, a "dare" to Democrats in the legislature to publicly oppose a credit that has strong support from labor unions, especially the Teamsters.
[Click HERE to read the full article via Gothamist]