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Wednesday, July 26, 2017
New York Legislators Approve Groundbreaking TV Diversity Tax Credit
New York’s state Assembly and Senate have passed a bill backed by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGA East) that would create a tax incentive program for TV shows that hire women and people of color in top writing and directing positions. The bill would allocate up to $5 million in new tax incentives to encourage the hiring of women and people of color as TV writers and directors.
The bill will now head to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign. Cuomo has been a strong supporter of New York’s entertainment community and tax incentive programs to grow the volume of production in the Empire State. The next big hurdle will be getting $5 million set aside in the state’s budget to fund the credit.
WGA East and DGA leaders hailed state Senator Marisol Alcántara and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo for guiding the bill through their respective chambers. The bill is the first of its kind in the nation in linking a tax incentive to a diversity hiring program.
“People in the TV industry have understood for years that enhancing the diversity of writing and directing improves the stories that appear on screen,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “The missing link for policymakers has been putting money at the point of hire, and this legislation is an important step in that direction.”