WHITE PLAINS-New York State has closed the tax incentive gap that proved critical in Westchester County losing Blue Sky Studios to Connecticut earlier this year. Although county officials say that their lobbying efforts to raise the tax incentives offered to film and TV production companies began more than a year ago, they acknowledge that the passage of legislation by both the State Assembly and Senate last week will now put the state on an even playing field with Connecticut for these type of businesses.

The State Assembly and Senate last week passed as part of its 2008-2009 budget the Education, Labor and Family Assistance Budget, that included a provision that calls for the increase of the film and television production tax credit from 10% of “below the line costs” to 30%. New York Governor David Patterson is expected to sign the bill. County officials say that the increase could result in an estimated $10 billion in overall revenue and economic impact to the state.

The state of Connecticut raised its tax credits to film and TV production studios to 30% in 2006 and saw a dramatic increase in business. State officials said that more than $450 million has been spent in connection with film productions in the Nutmeg State within a year after the increased tax credits went into effect. Earlier this year, due in large part to the Connecticut incentives, Blue Sky Studios, a digital production company, revealed it was moving from White Plains to approximately 106,000 sf at the Greenwich American Centre in Greenwich, taking with it approximately 300 jobs.

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