Subsidy Sheet: Crumbling infrastructure, overwhelmed social services, $7.7 billion to Hollywood?


It’s true, New York Democrats have agreed to give $7.7 billion in tax dollars to Hollywood. The math is simple: The Governor’s budget, which the Senate and Assembly have agreed to, proposes taxpayers reimburse Hollywood producers $700 million a year for 11 years, for a total of $7.7 billion.

(Yes, we’re singling out Democrats again because the Governor is a Democrat and the party has a super majority in the state Senate and Assembly. The political reality is that this year’s budget decisions are 100% made by Democrats.)

Unfortunately, New York Democrats are ignoring a key fact: If an employer gets tax money to hire someone, the direct economic activity generated by that worker is roughly the same no matter what their job is. They could be paid to work on a movie, dig a hole, wander around a Walmart parking lot, or repave a street. 

Study after study finds New York’s social workers are overwhelmed and burned out, public health clinics swamped, and state infrastructure decrepit. Why are we paying for movies and sitcoms, when we could be paying workers to fill potholes, replace old water pipes, help the vulnerable, or other things with an immediate or lasting benefit to society? 

We would like New York Democrats to stop hiding and tell New Yorkers why taxpayers should give $7.7 billion to Hollywood producers instead of improving government services or cutting taxes. For more, read our op-ed in the New York Daily News.

New York Corporate Giveaway News:

  • New York tax money should not help build a Florida gun superstore according to our Tom Speaker, who just published an op-ed on Opportunity Zones.
  • Trump-era Opportunity Zones likely have no effect on poverty, earnings, or employment. Check out our latest on OZ boondoggles and why it’s time to end OZs in NY.
  • The Buffalo Bills moved closer to breaking ground on their taxpayer-funded stadium after submitting the final contractual agreements to Erie County on Tuesday. The terms include a 30-year lease and a non-relocation clause, which would force the Bills to pay back public funding through the first 14 years of the deal if they do leave.
  • New Yorkers are wising up and asking why they also can’t have cheap power just like online retail giant Amazon. 
  • There’s a new proposal to hand out tax credits (a.k.a. taxpayer reimbursements) to developers of brownfield remediation projects who pay a “prevailing wage.”

Fun Fact: The state budget is late again, but it’s not yet the latest it’s ever been. In 2004, the budget was 133 days late!

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