In an effort to lure production companies back to Staten Island, Borough President Vito Fossella is urging the State Legislature to pass Gov. Kathy Hochul's Film Production Tax Credit Proposal.
Due to the uncertainty of the New York tax credit status, local film studios have suffered a drastic decline in production with many companies deciding to shoot in New Jersey which has a competitive tax credit.
“Production is down almost 90% from what it was a few years ago,” said Borough President Fossella during a press conference outside of Broadway Stages in Charleston on Monday, April 3. “Here we are in the first week of April and we have had one day of production. Historically, there were about 225 days of production, and on any given day, we would have 200 people working versus zero -- just do the math. We’ve seen it's crystal clear that when there was a tax credit, this place was flourishing. Without the tax credit, this place is dead.”
Among the biggest losses was the production of “Wu-Tang: An American Saga,” which spent $60M in filming its first season at Broadway Stages before filming the second and third seasons in New Jersey.
“They had their production offices on Staten Island, their carpentry shops, set dressing shops, scenic shops -- everything was on Staten Island,” said Tony Argento, the founder of Broadway Stages.
Borough President Fossella said filmmakers know Staten Island’s varied landscapes provide the perfect backdrops ranging from urban to rural settings. Film production also benefits small businesses with crews eating in our restaurants, shopping in our stores, and staying in our hotels.
“We urge the state legislature -- and we know they have a lot on their plate -- to pass the tax credit,” he said. “This is important for New York State, and specifically for Staten Island, because of the economic activity that flows from it.”
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