Why can’t I get a pony too?

Ever get jealous of something someone else got and you didn’t?

Even though you thought you deserved it more?

That’s how I and so many other Broadway and Off-Broadway producers felt after reading this article about tax credits for the television industry (to accompany those already received by the film industry).

It makes sense.

City wants money.

City uses tax breaks as bait.

Hollywood bites (you can read that both ways).

City gets the added benefit of free advertising by getting its streets and monuments in front of millions of people.

And it’s working.  The article reports that the economic impact
from “city based shoots” has doubled in the last six months to almost 1
billion bucks!

I’m happy for the city.  And the tv/film producers.  I really am.

At the same time, I can’t help feeling a bit slighted.  After all, Broadway alone contributed 5.1 billion in ’06-07.

Take that film and TV!  Hiyah!

And do our investors get tax breaks?  What about relief for plays or musicals that take place in New York City?

Or what about a break for shows by career Producers, who qualify by producing a certain number of shows over a certain number of years.  If they left the market, they might take some of that economic impact with them.  Should we give them a break to inspire them to keep on keeping on, and to give other producers a reason to do more shows?

Noooooooo.

We don’t get the same special treatment as our 2-dimensional sister industries.

Why not?  Because the city doesn’t have to give us jack. They know Broadway isn’t going anywhere, whereas film and tv production is centered in LA, but can go to Vancouver, Toronto, and other cities offering similar incentives.  And they know that the advertising and marketing benefits don’t come with helping out $5 billion dollar Broadway.

So TV shows get the pony, and we pony up.

And don’t even get me started on how much the city and state pitch in for new sports stadiums.

Well two can play at that game.

Calling all states . . . give us some big tax breaks and maybe we can come tryout our shows in your big cities, rather than spend the money elsewhere.

You’d get $$$, press, and some culture cred.

Or NYC can stop nibbling on one of the biggest hands that feeds it and give us a “break”.

We sure deserve it.

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Comments
  • John says:

    Louisiana is offering up some nice incentives to movies, TV, AND theater (if your show has its US premiere in the state). Not many theatrical producers are biting, though. For cachet, NYC does have you over a barrel.

  • You, my friend, belong in Texas! Hope you come to Dallas for your “Altar Boyz” premiere. We like your thinkin’ down a-here! (The author is not responsible for the affectation.)

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