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3/4/2014 9:41:05 PM

Syracuse Post-Standard: High-tech movie-making hub would grow in vacant field in DeWitt under state plan

Syracuse Post-Standard

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a brief stop tonight at Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney's State of the County speech to announce a plan to bring the film industry to Central New York.

"Hollywood comes to Onondaga," Cuomo said. "Who would have ever guessed?"

The Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries would combine three state initiatives: investments in nano-technology training and research; Cuomo's tax-free Start-Up NY incentives; and the state's lucrative film tax credits. The plan is to build it in the Collamer Crossings Business Park in DeWitt.

Here's a closer look at how these industries, tax breaks and college classes will work together, under Cuomo's plan:

Start-Up NY and Film Tax Credits

It was the package of tax benefits that convinced Ryan Johnson, president of the newly formed Film House LLC, to move his film production business from Los Angeles to DeWitt, N.Y., he said.

"It allows for a significant savings," Johnson said after Cuomo made the announcement at the Carnegie Library in downtown Syracuse. "Your savings on the budget of a movie could be 40 to 60 percent just off the top."

Johnson said New York's tax break package will give the company 35 cents back for every $1 invested in the new business. Johnson said New York beat other states -- like Louisiana, George, North Carolina and Mississippi -- that offer tax credits for film production.

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