New York State is giving $4.5 million to an unproven Buffalo start-up that will open a visual effects studio and train workers in the field of post production. The gift – er investment – is supposed to create 150 jobs.
Empire Visual Effects and its workers may not have to pay any taxes if it qualifies for StartUp NY, as it is partnering with Daemen College.
What’s more, movies filmed in New York can shave 45 percent of their costs through the state’s tax credit program.
At the urging of the state, Rochester allowed Amazing Spiderman 2 to shut down Main Street for 10 days. The city didn’t charge one cent beyond its own costs, including police and fire. A friend who works in Hollywood was shocked the city levied no fees and made no profit. Meanwhile, Main Street businesses got stiffed by the production and lost thousands of dollars.
But it’s Hollywood, so I guess it’s okay. Movies are so cool, aren’t they?
Here’s the thing. If (and that’s a big if) the state has to give away money to create jobs, I’d prefer it acts as a venture capitalist in the science and technology fields. Those jobs pay well and could fill up empty factories. It’s been a real struggle in Upstate New York to get discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace.
Innovation will be the key to our economic growth. Not call centers, casinos and movies.
Links of the Day:
– Wegmans will allow part-time workers to work more hours to keep health benefits.
– Wegmans could be affected by a Washington D.C. proposal requiring large retailers to pay workers $12.50 an hour. Would the chain abandon plans for the market?
– Jean-Claude Brizard’s Chief of Staff in the Rochester City School District has been forced to resign from the superintendency in North Syracuse. Kim Dyce will get a nice payout. Why is it that superintendents are the only public officials who get golden parachutes?
– The state education commissioner is ordering Buffalo schools to send kids to BOCES because schools are so bad. Why is he only taking this action in Buffalo?