SPITZER, THE ABOVE, AND THE BELOW THE LINE
Everything is connected. While the Elliiot Spitzer call-girl scandal seems to be providing cable news with a pre-Pennsylvania election break and bloggers with plenty of new linking opportunities, it’s impacting the film business as well — specifically, the successful NY tax credit program which has been up for an expansion. In the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein writes about how “Spitzer exit threatens his tax-credit plan.”
Here are two key graphs, but read the piece for the whole thing:
By the end of Wednesday, both the Republican-led state Senate and Democratic-led Assembly had unveiled proposed budgets with their partisan versions of the legislation Spitzer spearheaded. The outgoing governor proposed an extension of the current 10% state tax credit on below-the-line production costs, upping it to 15% of all production costs (including above-the-line costs for actors, producers and directors). He also pushed for an incremental bump in the benefit cap from $60 million to $75 million by 2011.
The tax credits, initiated in 2004, have bipartisan support, but the Senate and Assembly have much different takes — and price tags — on the bill. The Assembly agrees with Spitzer’s caps but wants an increase to 30% of productions cost with no above-the-line credit, taking about $100 million from the budget. The Senate agrees with Spitzer’s overall 15% plan but wants to “blow the cap out” — as proponent Sen. Martin Golden puts it — at an estimated $300 million budget cost.