Hochul’s plan for the arts community includes a tax credit for new performance venues

Governor Kathy Hochul is contemplating a ‘Performance Venue Tax Credit‘ that would fund a portion of the construction costs associated with ticketed performance venues like theaters, concert halls, comedy clubs, orchestras, operas, ballets, or another form of art (presumably regardless of how high- or low- brow the performances).

Hochul hopes that the tax credit will effectively incentivize developers to include performance venues as components of larger mixed-use developments.  Over the life of the program — currently being contemplated as sunsetting after ten years — she hopes that ‘hundreds’ of new theater companies will be spawned by developers utilizing the tax credit.

“Developers will enjoy getting involved in show business — and there’s an unlimited diversity of markets and tastes to appeal to and monetize.  Any real estate developer worth their weight will understand the economic value of including a ticketed performance venue inside of mixed use developments.  It’s a high-potential cash flow and can add enormous brand value to a large property, whether or not it’s located at ground-level,” a staffer familiar with Hochul’s thinking explains.

“Governor Hochul wants New York to be the most exciting and entertaining cultural hub in the world, and taking a supply-side approach to bringing new venues into the marketplace will greatly accelerate the growth and diversification of all of the City’s performance industries,” she adds.  “This tax credit will create thousands of jobs for performers — actors, musicians, comedians, dancers, poets, and all the support positions that go into producing, marketing, and promoting performances.”

It’s thought that Hochul was inspired to create the tax credit at the behest of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte, who have long advocated for economic development policies designed to create jobs in creative industries that showcase the performance talent of the African American community.  They’ve called on her to ‘think beyond film’. 

Critics say that the City is not home to enough theater companies to sign leases for ‘hundreds’ of new theatric spaces.  Supporters of the tax credit say that it would be designed to encourage property-owners (including properties owned by major real estate funds) to spawn their own theater (or other performance) companies.

She expects that those new performance theaters would generate revenue from ticket sales and by licensing original content to the major broadcast networks, cable companies, digital subscription services, and local television stations.

“Netflix, Hulu, Disney, HBO, CNN — and all the others — are thirsty for original content,” the Hochul advisor explains.  “And there’s no place more interesting, dramatic, or exciting than New York City.  So let’s create the jobs already.”



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