Friend: Film Tax Credits Don’t Benefit Upstate

Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) reacted to the recent Camoin Associates report on the effectiveness of the Film Tax Credits with skepticism on just how much the program benefits upstate.

“When you look at the new tax credit, the vast majority of the jobs and money are spent downstate,” Friend said. “The previous credit allowed for a much more equitable distribution. Under the current terms, the credit really is working only for the people of New York City and, according to the hacked Sony emails, Gov. Cuomo, whose campaign account is cashing in on the credit.”

Friend also called into question the employment numbers associated with the program. “They haven’t quantified these jobs on a full-time equivalent basis,” Friend said. “This allows for someone hired as a temp multiple times during a single production to count as having created multiple jobs. This is done to inflate the success of the program. These temporary employees don’t make a salary, and they surely don’t make what my colleagues across the aisle would call a ‘livable wage.’ What skill have they learned? Can they take this experience to a manufacturing center?”