New York Trims Production Tax Break to Fund Job Diversity

Companies producing TV shows and films in New York State will pay a little more in taxes so the money can be used to insure that more jobs created by those productions go to a diverse array of New Yorkers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that participants in the New York State Film Production and Post-Production Tax Credit Programs will see a "small reduction" in their tax credit, with the extra money going to a fund for job training and workforce development in the entertainment industry.

The fund will initially provide a little over a million dollars per year for that training and development. It was created as part of a capital spending bill.

"The fund will ensure that the jobs related to the growth of New York's entertainment industry are filled by New Yorkers who represent the diverse nature of New York State," said Cuomo's office.

Empire State Development (ESD) is charged with creating regulations to establish and administer the fund and associated program, with input from the entertainment industry.

"NBCUniversal has a long-standing commitment to developing the next generation of talent, both in front of and behind the camera," said Jeff Shell, chairman of NBCUniversal Film & Entertainment Group. "We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this issue and his administration's continued attention to fostering diversity in the media industry."

Motion Picture Association of America chairman Charles Rivkin also had good things to say about the program. "Supporting creative professionals from a wide array of backgrounds not only promotes a diverse workforce but also ensures the stories we tell on screen reflect the diversity in our communities and audiences," he said. "We look forward to working with our partners and New York State on this innovative, first-in-the-nation program which will foster industry diversity in New York through new funding for job training and workforce development." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.