Assemblyman Santabarbara: Theatrical Production Tax Credit to Benefit Upstate in Assembly One-House Budget

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) has announced that the Assembly’s one-house budget proposal includes a measure designed to encourage investments in, and increase tourism to, upstate cities by establishing tax credits for pre-Broadway and post-Broadway productions in New York State (Part MM of A.8559C). The initiative, which creates a musical and theatrical production credit, would give a major boost to upstate theatres including Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady.

“These tax credits could have a huge positive economic impact on upstate cities, especially Schenectady. When these shows come to town, they bring people and spend money on local labor, transportation, housing, food and drink, and marketing,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. “We can’t afford to lose these productions to other states.”

"I am thrilled this is advancing in the budget process thanks to the efforts of Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. It will mean so much to upstate downtowns and theaters,” said Proctor’s CEO, Philip Morris.

Specifically, the amount of the tax credit would be 25% of qualified production costs incurred in New York State for accredited theater productions at facilities that have been certified by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. The credit would begin in 2015.

An example of the significant economic impact that pre- and post-Broadway productions can have on cities, is Ghost the Musical, which showed at Proctor’s Theatre last year. From September 14 through September 20 – in just a single week – the production spent over $755,000 in the city of Schenectady. According to The Broadway League, in 2009 (the most recent data available), Touring Broadway theater had a combined estimated economic impact of over $66 million in Buffalo, Elmira, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse and Utica for the 2008-09 theater season.