New York City musical and theatre productions will be able to get up to $4.5 million in tax credits under a new state program, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday, July 22.
The New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit will boost companies recovering from the pandemic by offering $100 million that qualifying organizations can wipe off their tax bills.
“New York is not ‘New York’ without theatre, but for more than a year and a half visitors and residents were unable to enjoy the unparalleled experience of a live stage performance,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Theatrical productions support thousands of jobs and showcase performances and artists that reflect our state’s great talent and diversity. With the state’s coronavirus restrictions lifted, these tax credits will help to restart this quintessentially New York industry more quickly.”
The two-year program through the state’s Empire State Development arm allows eligible companies to get tax credits for 25% of some of their expenditures, such as sets, costumes, sound, lighting, salaries, fees, and advertising costs.
There’s a $3 million cap per company for the first year they apply for the credits and $1.5 million for the second, but the limit may be raised to $3 million for year two if the economy doesn’t recover, according to state officials.
Productions that show revenues of more than twice their production costs after getting the credit will have to give half the credit back to the state’s Council for The Arts Cultural Program Fund.
To qualify, a production has to be a live, scripted performance with one or more performers at a qualified New York City facility.
Ballet, opera, musical solo, group, band or orchestra performances, or stand-up comedy performances are not eligible.
In exchange for the credit, the companies will have to take part in state-approved diversity and arts jobs training program and make efforts to make their shows more accessible for low-income people.
The initiative is part of a $1 billion package of economic recovery initiatives in this year’s state fiscal budget.
Almost 250,000 people a week flocked to Broadway theaters prior to the pandemic, supporting an industry of more than 90,000 local jobs that funnels an annual $14 billion into the city’s economy, but COVID-19 put the entire business on standstill.
Governor lifted almost all COVID-19 restrictions when 70% of the state’s adult population got at least one shot of the vaccine on June 15.
The rebate comes just in time, according to the head of an industry trade association, as at least 35 productions have announced opening plans for this year.
“Governor Cuomo’s support of Broadway during the pandemic has been vital to the industry’s survival. His announcement comes at a perfect moment for New York,” said Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin. “This unprecedented initiative will increase access to Broadway shows for New York State residents and create new career pathways in our industry.”
To find out more about the tax credit, contact the NYC Musical and Theatrical Tax Credit Program at (212) 803-2328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.esd.ny.gov/new-york-city-musical-and-theatrical-production-tax-credit.