NEWBURGH — Pattern for Progress has released a new report about the growing film industry in the Hudson Valley and the impact an expanded state tax credit program for filming will have on the region. The study includes a set of several recommendations for how Ulster County, which commissioned the report, can take advantage of the state’s expanded film tax credits.
Jonathan Drapkin, Pattern’s President & CEO, praised Ulster County Executive Mike Hein for lobbying Albany for the expansion of the film tax credit program to the counties of the mid-Hudson Valley. “Without County Exec. Hein’s vigorous advocacy on this issue, the State Legislature might not have acted to expand the film tax credit program, a move that will spur the creation of new jobs and investment in many of the Valley’s communities,” said Drapkin.
Across New York State, the film and TV industry has generated millions of dollars for local communities, and created thousands of good-paying jobs. Pattern’s study reported data showing that as of 2014 the film industry generated over $4 billion in spending in New York State and that 30,000 jobs were directly supported by the film tax credit program. The expanded film tax credit allows counties in the Hudson Valley and Catskills to compete for these productions and jobs on a level playing field with the rest of the state, and promises to bring a needed boost to the regional economy.
New York State is by far the largest center of the film and TV industry outside of California. However, New York’s film industry has traditionally been centered in New York City. Pattern’s study found that expanding the size of the tax credit that production companies can take for filming or doing post-production work in the Hudson Valley will benefit the region’s economy by drawing new investment and creating new jobs. Across New York, the number of film industry jobs grew by 55% between 2004 and 2016, reaching a high of over 45,000 jobs in 2016.
“We fought for this film tax credit expansion to the Hudson Valley because we were being discriminated against,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “Eighty-four percent of upstate New York counties were included but we were not, and that was stifling the potential of an exciting new economic sector. I am proud that in partnership with so many, we succeeded and we have seen an exponential growth in just the first six months. I cannot wait to see what is possible as we continue to foster the arts and promote the film industry in our beautiful region. We need to keep these important economic incentives, not slash the film tax credit as some in the State Legislature have suggested. This would undo the foundation of a burgeoning multi-billion dollar industry in the Hudson Valley; and, therefore, our fight is far from done.” A State Senator from the Buffalo area recently made news by calling for an end to the state’s film tax credit program.
Ulster County is an especially promising location for a growing film industry, with a diverse array of scenery and potential filming locations, from urban settings in downtown Kingston to orchards and wineries in the Wallkill Valley to the Catskill Mountain forests. Pattern’s report recommends that Ulster County continue to track the impact of the film industry and promote the county’s many advantages as a location for film production. The full report is available on Pattern’s website at:
Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress is policy, planning, advocacy and research nonprofit that has promoted regional, balanced and sustainable solutions for the Hudson River Valley since 1965. Visit Pattern-For-Progress.org. Follow us on Twitter at @HVPattern. Like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn.