Subsidy Sheet: Will the NYS legislature really agree to $7 billion in state cash handouts to Hollywood?


In a few days we will know if the NY State Senate and Assembly reject or support the Governor’s massive package of new corporate giveaways, which is headlined by an astounding $7 billion in state reimbursable grants to Hollywood producers. 

The legislature’s “one-house bills” are coming out on Monday or Tuesday and will show the public where they really stand on corporate giveaways. 

Earlier this week, we analyzed the state’s fourth quarter 2022 report on film/TV subsidies and learned that New York taxpayers are paying an astounding $66,819/year per full-time job equivalent. We also co-published with the American Economic Liberties Project a summary of major studies showing that film/TV tax credit programs create little payoffOne study found that the average return for every dollar spent on film/TV subsidies was just 27 cents!

New York Corporate Giveaway News

  • There are many problems with the Governor’s proposal to use taxpayer dollars to renovate the Belmont horse track, including that it would lock down Video Lottery Terminal revenue for the Racing Association for decades to come.
  • The usefulness of subsidies for corporations was back in the spotlight following the announcement that Amazon will pause construction at its HQ2 site in Virginia. 
  • Trump-era Opportunity Zones could be funding guns, oil, and crypto operations in other states. Our own Tom Speaker went on Capitol Pressroom to make the case for ending OZs in NYS. We also re-released our memo of support for the Gianaris/Dinowitz bill ending the tax break.
  • Will the Legislature take a stand and freeze the billions of dollars of subsidies handed out to private corporations and wealthy investors every year? Advocates like Reinvent Albany have certainly made a strong case for it! 
  • Governor Hochul might be ready to change gears on Penn Station. Let’s hope she doesn’t include taxpayer money for Vornado in those new plans. 
  • Five tax breaks in the Governor’s budget could cost local governments as much as $2.84 billion per year if the state meets its housing goals, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Fun fact: The Port Authority of NY and NJ, formed in 1921, was the first public authority in the United States. Modeled after the Port of London Authority founded 12 years earlier, the authority was designed to to manage the economic vitality of New York Bay.

If you got this from a friend, sign up here. Subsidy Sheet is written by Elizabeth Marcello and edited by John Kaehny.