New Data: Giant NY Taxpayer Handout for Each Film/TV Job

In 2022, NY taxpayers handed Hollywood producers $66,819 for each full-time
film/TV production worker

$7 Billion in Proposed New York Film/TV Subsidies
The New York State Legislature appears close to approving the Governor’s budget proposal to spend $7 billion on tax credits to the film and TV industry over the next ten years ($700 million x 10 years). Currently, New York State authorizes up to $420 million a year in film/TV subsidies. 

“Tax credits” are direct state reimbursements to the production companies who employ film and TV production workers. The state basically writes a check to producers for 30% of the “qualified” costs of an eligible production.

New Findings
Under the current $420m program:

  • $32/hour taxpayer subsidy was paid for each film/TV production worker.
  • $66,819/year taxpayer subsidy was paid per full-time job equivalent (FTE).
  • NYS paid out $327m in film/TV subsidies in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, despite annual authorized subsidies of $420m. This is probably due to productions being delayed by COVID pandemic.
  • 4,899 full-time equivalent film/TV production workers were subsidized in the fourth quarter of 2022. (Very high because of COVID.)
  • 16 “hires” were reported by Empire State Development for each calculated FTE.
  • NYS taxpayers paid for 30% of Qualified Costs for all productions, regardless of where in NYS. 

New Data in the Fourth Quarter of 2022 NYS Film/TV Tax Credit Report

  • $327,372,448 in NYS payments to productions was reported.
  • $1,092,661,937 in qualified costs was reported.
  • 10,190,810 credit eligible hours worked were reported.
  • 80,199 “hires” were reported. 

Analysis of New 2022 State Data
Source: Empire State Development Authority’s 2022 Fourth Quarter Report on Film Tax Credits. Data reflects a large sample, but not all, of 2022 film/TV spending. (Note: ESD data is not downloadable nor available in the Open NY portal and Database of Economic Incentives.) 

Full-time Equivalents = reported hours/2,080 hours (full-time equivalent hours)
Subsidy/Hours = dollars paid by NYS/credit eligible hours
Subsidy/Full-Time Job = dollars paid by NYS/number of FTE jobs

Full Reinvent Albany analysis as downloadable data