Gallivan proposes tiered tax credit system to lure filmmakers to Buffalo
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In 2008, Tom Malloy produced and acted in his original film the Alphabet Killer loosely based on a series of murders in Rochester.
"I really felt that it would take away from the story if we brought it to another city.", Malloy said. We actually shot in places where the original murders took place back in the seventies."
Malloy and the other people involved in making the movie decided to shoot in the Rochester area even though it would have been cheaper to shoot elsewhere.
"We got next to nothing when we first shot here because it was at that time, I think 15 percent tax credit when we first shot here," Malloy said.
In 2010 New York State changed that, setting aside 420-million dollars a year for filmmakers.
"The things that you don't see if you go to the movies, you watch the film, all the things behind the scenes that you don't see," said State Senator Patrick Gallivan. "They get a 30 percent credit for qualifying films," he said.
Governor Cuomo has proposed extending the tax credit for five more years in his budget.
"What I'm proposing now is not to increase the dollar amount of the tax credit, very simply to cut the pie a little bit different to level the playing field," Gallivan said.
Gallivan wants a tiered system where cities like Rochester and Buffalo could offer a larger refund than New York City and other areas of the state.
"It costs to get them there," Gallivan said. "It costs them to transfer the equipment, the hotels, per diems. So naturally the further you go from the city, New York City that is, the more the cost," he said.
"You have the huge crew base in New York City that's within driving distance of Buffalo and Rochester so all the key people that are in New York City would go up and drive," Malloy said.
Malloy says the system would make filming another movie in Western New York more attractive.
"I can say 'look Mr. or Mrs. Investor, I can get 45 cents to the dollar no matter what so we only need to sell 55 cents on the dollar for the movie to be possible'," Malloy said.
Gallivan says now he needs to convince his colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly the system would be beneficial to the entire state.