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Tax Credits Allow NYC to Keep Late Show

  • Jul 30, 2014 | Gail Cole

 Tax Incentives ensure it stays in NYC.

No place says comedic late night talk show like New York City: The original, Jack Paar’s Tonight; The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in Rockefeller Center; The Late Show with David Letterman; The Colbert Report; The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; Late Night with Seth Meyers. Jimmy Fallon brought the Tonight Show from California back to NYC in February, saying “This is where it should be. It’s electric here. It’s the trendsetting city. It’s the most alive city in the world.”

Still, there was talk of moving the Late Show to California once David Letterman retires next year and Stephen Colbert takes over as host.

Stephen Colbert in California?

Maybe Late Night is staying in New York because of Mr. Colbert. Or maybe the millions in tax credits and state grants have something to do with it. In any case, stay it will, with its 200 hundred (+/-) jobs and a “steady stream of tourism revenue for local businesses and hotels.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the show will remain in NYC in a glowing press release. Numerous state lawmakers were quoted lauding the decision, calling the show “a New York institution” and “a uniquely New York brand.” Towards the end of the release, the details are revealed:

“CBS will be eligible to receive at least $11 million in performance-based Excelsior tax credits over five years to cover eligible costs based on the proposed significant level of investment and job commitments. In addition, ESD will make available up to $5 million grant for CBS to offset renovations at the historic Ed Sullivan Theatre.”

New York is not the only state to use tax incentives to draw film and television productions. Maryland lawmakers approved generous tax incentives to keep House of Cards in the state. Many California lawmakers are currently “urging the state legislature to approve, and Gov. Jerry Brown to sign, an enhanced tax credit to keep film and TV production from fleeing the state.” Georgia, Texas…, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a majority of states now offer film production incentives.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.