It’s welfare for Hollywood — courtesy of New York’s taxpayers.
Hypocritical lefty state pols are poised to sign off on even more costly tax breaks for the local film and TV industry, despite progressives recently pushing to nix what amounted to a fraction of such subsidies proposed for Amazon’s now-aborted headquarters in Queens, according to a new analysis and critics.
Film- and TV-related breaks currently cost New York taxpayers a staggering $66,819 for each production job annually, said Reinvent Albany, the watchgroup that conducted the study.
Compare that whopping figure to the total $19,329 in subsidies that the state and city would have paid per full-time job for Amazon’s headquarters in Long Island City, a plan thwarted by liberals allegedly looking out for their own interests.
“This is completely insane. This is gross. This is a complete corporate boondoggle,” said John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, referring to the Hollywood-tailored tax breaks.
Of course, left-leaning Hollywood titans are big campaign donors to New York pols.
For example, filmmaker Steven Spielberg contributed the maximum $47, 100 to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s campaign last year along with his wife Kate Capshaw, after taking advantage of the state’s tax credit while directing the flick “West Side Story.”
Now the same liberal Albany lawmakers who rejected the proposed $3 billion Amazon campus project as too much of a corporate giveaway are about to sign off on the much larger, 11-year, $7.7 billion film and TV deal as part of the new state budget plan slated to be approved April 1.
Currently, film and TV tax credits cost the state treasury $420 million per year.
But Gov. Hochul’s $227 billion budget proposal would add five additional years to the existing six-year program as well as increase the taxpayer subsidy from $420 million per year to $700 million per year. Both the Democratic-run Assembly and Senate offered similar proposals.
Productions would see rebates from the state increase from 25% to 30% of their total eligible costs.
“Absolutely humongous,” Kaehny said.
“Yet, despite each film/TV job costing 3x more than an [Amazon] HQ2 job, some of these same critics are about to vote for a state budget that includes a 11-year handout from NY taxpayers to Hollywood producers costing a total of $7.7 billion,” the study said.
The increased New York film and tax credit will call for a taxpayer reimbursement for 30 percent of eligible personnel costs incurred by an individual or corporate producer.
The reimbursement is sent in the form of a tax refund to the producer and is based solely on reported production expenses.
“The taxpayer reimbursement is provided regardless of whether a production is profitable or a bomb,” the analysis said.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), the powerful deputy majority leader whose opposition was instrumental in forcing Amazon honcho Jeff Bezos to withdraw the e-tail giant’s planned headquarters in Long Island City, had no immediate comment.
Hochul’s office had no immediate comment, either.
Her economic-development officials previously defended the expansion of the film and TV tax credit, saying such a move would protect 57,000 jobs in the state while making New York more competitive against such states as New Jersey as they expand their own benefits to lure productions.
“The proposed enhancement of the film tax credit will grow the film industry and keep New York competitive in this very important sector of our economy which has generated over $20 billion in spending and created 57,300 direct and indirect jobs in the Empire State,” a rep for Empire State Development, which oversees the tax credit, said in a statement to The Post last month.