State Leaders Cry Foul Over $5M Tax Credit For Fallon

11:41 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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Jimmy Fallon

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Some state leaders are crying foul over a big-time tax break the state is about to give away.

Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have reportedly slipped a five-million-dollar tax break into the budget to lure the Tonight Show back to New York City, where it began in the early 1960s.

NBC late night host Jimmy Fallon is reported to be taking over the Tonight Show for Jay Leno sometime next year. The network has already reportedly been in the process of building Fallon a new studio for the Tonight Show in New York City, where he currently works.

Consequently, some state leaders are calling the $5 million a "waste."

"Jimmy Fallon does his show here already," said New York State Assemblyman Ray Walter (R-Amherst). "It seems like a waste of money -- just a gift to these production companies. It makes no sense."

New York State Senator George Maziarz, R-Niagara County, agreed.

"I don't it's necessary," Maziarz said. "Entertainment tax credits are good things. We just saw that Buffalo lost a movie about Buffalo to Cleveland. But that's to lure movies that would be -- and television programs that were not going to be shot here. Jimmy Fallon was coming to New York... He was coming anyway."

Last month, local leaders learned that Buffalo had lost on hosting a film about the Buffalo Bills. Instead, the producers move the film it to Cleveland and made it about the Browns because Ohio offered more tax breaks.

"If we're going to be handing out $420 million in tax incentives, at least spread it around the state," Walter said. "So much of it benefits strictly New York City and downstate because that's where the infrastructure is. We need to see some of that up here to create jobs In Western New York."

Meantime, some state leaders opposed to the $5 million tax break for Fallon's show are sarcastically calling it "Jimmy's Law."

REPORTER: Is this a done deal to be in the budget, or is this something you guys might try to pull out?
MAZIARZ: We're definitely going to try to pull it out. I don't know how successful we're going to be, but we're definitely going to try to pull it out.

State Senator Patrick Gallivan introduced a bill that would make the entertainment tax breaks 50 percent bigger for films and t.v. shows shot upstate, where they're far less likely to be located. So far, his bill has not passed.

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