New York’s Massive Budget Channels Fresh Funds To Covid-Battered Arts And Entertainment – Deadline

New York State’s just signed fiscal 2022 mega-budget includes a $1 billion package – a combination of grants and tax credits — for small businesses including arts, entertainment and restaurant to help speed economic recovery.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program steers $800 million in funding and $138 million in tax credits in part to for-profit arts and cultural institutions.

The New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit expands to $100 million over two years to jumpstart the industry and support tourism in the city. For musical and theatrical productions outside NYC, the budget extends the tax credit for four years through 2025 and doubles it to $8 million.

Th $212-billion budget, signed by Gov, Andrew Cuomo yesterday, includes a new $40 million fund for general operating support to help nonprofit arts and cultural organizations as they recover from the Covid hit. It earmarks an additional $20 million for new capital grants to help them comply with Covid health regulations, including outdoor performance space projects, flexible seating, HVAC and filtration upgrades.

Combining this new funding with the state’s annual $40 million arts grant program, the budget will include over $100 million in grants for arts and cultural organizations through the New York State Council on the Arts.

Some $2 million in COBRA subsidies are available for entertainment workers who lost health insurance since the industry was shuttered last March.

State tax credits for film and television stayed mostly steady. In spring of 2020, they were trimmed to 25% from 30% and approved for five years.

The budget provisions mimic in ways President Joe Biden’s national infrastructure bill. It calls for a hefty $311 billion in spending through 2024 for all kinds of infrastructure programs from transportation to downtown revitalization to schools, green energy and affordable broadband — and extending NYC’s trendy High Line park to the new Moynihan Train Hall.

The Hall, an expansion of Penn Station, is part of Cuomo’s ongoing push to make commuting easier and more pleasant. “People can’t drive into Manhattan. That is not our future,” he said at a press conference Wednesday hitting the budget highlights. A new Penn Station, eight new rail lines, an expanded and upgraded Javits convention center are a few projects on the board.

“We’re trying to pivot from an economic disaster of epic proportions,” Cuomo said. “We’re investing in New York’s future. How do you rebuild New York, and how do you do it better and smarter than before?

The budget authorizes mobile sports betting, bringing in A possible $500 million annually, and it also legalizes weed. The state received $12.6 billion in direct aid from Washington, D.C.

The plan will be paid for in part through tax hikes on individuals making over $1 million a year ($2 million if filing jointly) with additional increases for incomes of over $5 million and $25 million. The legislature pushed the tax increases through over the objections of the Governor, who has worried that high-net worth individuals would leave the state.

The budget allows the state to withhold 50% percent of state and federal funds from localities that fail to produce plans to reform their police departments, something Cuomo mandated via executive order in the wake of the George Floyd protests last year.