Sen. Schumer Announces STAGE Act, Plan to Extend TV-Film Tax Incentives to Live Productions

News   Sen. Schumer Announces STAGE Act, Plan to Extend TV-Film Tax Incentives to Live Productions
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced Feb. 5 a bipartisan plan to extend the same tax treatment afforded to film and TV producers to investors in live theatre, including Broadway productions.

Charles E. Schumer
Charles E. Schumer

Entitled “Support Theaters in America Growth and Expansion (STAGE) Act,” the legislation, which is also sponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), would change the federal tax code and give Broadway and live theatre productions a tax break to encourage investment and spur job creation on the Great White Way.

Schumer noted that individual investors are the backbone of Broadway, but it is often a prohibitively risky enterprise to invest in commercial stage productions. The STAGE Act seeks to end the disparate treatment in the entertainment industry.

“New York is home to the culture and entertainment capital of the world, but without critical tax incentives, many production companies are moving elsewhere,” said Senator Schumer in a statement. “The STAGE Act will finally put an end to the disparate tax treatment in the entertainment industry, which will mean more shows on Broadway, more jobs and more investment in and around the Great White Way. Live theater must be offered the same federal tax incentives as those afforded to television and film productions, and I am urging my colleagues to give its regards to Broadway by passing the STAGE Act!”

“Broadway is an iconic industry that entertains millions around the world and supports our nation’s cultural community. Individual investors are the mainstay of our industry and we are incredibly grateful to Senators Schumer and Blunt for their appreciation of the multi-billion dollar impact that commercial theatre has on the U.S. economy. Because of their resolve, American theatrical producers may achieve a measure of tax parity with the film and television industries, as well as with foreign theatrical investors, through a change to the Tax Code that will eliminate a major impediment to attracting financing for commercial theatre at virtually no-cost to US tax-payers,” added Charlotte St. Martin, executive director, The Broadway League.

The U.S. tax code now permits expensing of qualified film and TV production costs up to $15 million when 75 percent of compensation paid is for services performed in the U.S. Accordingly, studios producing movies and TV shows may immediately recoup their investments before taxes are assessed on any profits earned. Under current law, Broadway shows and live theatrical productions are not offered the same federal tax incentives; Schumer’s amendment would allow live theatre investors to receive the same benefit. Broadway contributes $11 billion to New York City’s economy on top of ticket sales and supports 86,000 jobs.

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