Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Fighting For Important Tool To Expand Entertainment Industry In The Hudson Valley, Commends The New York State Senate And Assembly For Voting To Include Ulster County And Others In The Upstate Film Tax Credit Program

Posted June 16, 2016

The County Executive’s January State Of The County Address Called On State Legislators To Remedy The Inequitable Program In Order To Boost Ulster County’s Creative Economy

Kingston, N.Y. - Ulster County, which has more artists per capita than anywhere else in New York State, may soon be playing on a level playing field when it comes to attracting film productions to its magnificent scenery and historical backdrops.  After County Executive Mike Hein highlighted the disparity of the Film Tax Credit in his State of the County Address, the state program includes 84% of upstate counties but excludes Ulster County, a coalition of actors, producers, directors and studio executives joined the call for fairness and a groundswell of grassroots support erupted.  Both the New York State Senate and Assembly have now passed the bill to include Ulster as one of the eligible counties.

Michael P. Hein, Ulster County Executive

“Today is an important day for Ulster County and our creative economy.  Ulster County is home to countless actors and directors and many of them want to be able to work where they live,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.  “However, the current Film Tax Credit program discriminatorily excludes Ulster County making it difficult to compete for film productions.  By including Ulster County as an eligible county, this amendment will help our creative economy thrive and serves as a prime example of government listening to, and acting in the best interest of the people.” 

“I want to commend and thank Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther for her leadership on this issue and for sponsoring the bill in the Assembly along with co-sponsor Frank Skartados, as well as Senators William Larkin and George Amedore for their sponsorhip in the Senate,” continued the County Executive.  “I want to especially thank Mary Stuart Masterson for all of her support and hard work in spreading the message of the importance of this change in state law within the film industry.  This change in state law means more high quality jobs for Ulster County as well as millions of dollars of additional business for our local economy.”

New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther

“Expanding the Film Tax Credit into the Hudson Valley is likely a game-changer,” said Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.  “A robust and diverse economy is the lynchpin to the health and well-being of our community, and this legislation recognizes that simple fact by creating countless opportunities for local businesses of all kinds to reap the economic benefits of the entertainment industry.  In government, we’re only as good as our partners,  which is why I’m grateful to County Executive Mike Hein for advocating so strongly for passage of the legislation, as well as Senators Amedore and Larkin for their commitment to passing it in the Senate.”

Laurent Rejto, Director of the Hudson Valley Film Commission

“The Hudson Valley Film Commission is overjoyed with the legislation that has passed the New York State Senate and Assembly, which will extend the New York State Film Production Tax Credit to the Mid-Hudson Valley Counties,” said Laurent Rejto, director of the Hudson Valley Film Commission. “We are extremely grateful for the support and leadership of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein who brought this issue to the forefront, as well as Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and State Senator George Amedore for sponsoring the legislation.  These additional tax credits will allow the Mid-Hudson Valley region to compete on a level playing field for billions of dollars in film and TV production revenue.  This legislation will not only boost the film industry but will also create revenue opportunities for local vendors; create a steady demand for services and hospitality; promote the region nationally and around the globe; increase opportunities so that current local industry members don't need to travel from the region for work; increase opportunities for youth so they can work locally; create more regional opportunities for industry union members; and generate investments in local infrastructure through productions, new businesses and jobs. It’s a win-win for the region and the entire state.”

The Film Tax Credit provides film production companies with an additional 10% tax credit.  Many notable actors including: Chevy Chase, Mary Stuart Masterson, Debra Winger, Aidan Quinn, Michelle Williams and Mark Ruffalo publicly supported the amendment to include Hudson Valley counties in the Film Tax Credit program.

The bill will now go before Governor Cuomo for his consideration.