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Motion Picture & Theatrical Trade

As the 2019 expiration looms for the industry-popular film and TV tax credit, soundstage owners, unions and other insiders have recently expressed cautious optimism on the chances of a tax-credit extension.

Since episodic TV shows typically plan three years ahead, producers are eager to be reassured in the next several months. Efforts to extend the tax credit have already begun. Teamsters Local 817 and Motion Picture Association of America President Chris Dodd, along with four major New York City studio heads—Doug Steiner of Steiner Studios; Stuart and Alan Suna of Silvercup Studios; Hal Rosenbluth of Kaufman Astoria Studios; and Gina Argento of Broadway Stages—have all called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to extend the credit.

"We are at a critical juncture right now with a lot of the players asking for an extension," said Tom O'Donnell, president of Teamsters Local 817.

Local 817, a 1,200-member union, employed more than 1,400 individuals in October—a record for the 113-year-old organization. While O'Donnell hopes to expand his member roster to meet the growing production demand, uncertainty over the credit's future has made him cautious about taking on too many new people.

"Stability and predictability is key for bringing work here," O'Donnell said.

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