New York Gov. George Pataki has given the thumbs up to a series of landmark tax incentives for film and television production aimed at curbing runaway filmmaking.

NEW YORK (The Hollywood Reporter) -- New York Gov. George Pataki has given the thumbs up to a series of landmark tax incentives for film and television production aimed at curbing runaway filmmaking. Pataki had been expected to sign off on the initiative, which was wrapped in the state's budget bill .

While the governor did make 195 vetoes to the state budget, tallying up to $1.8 billion in cuts, the film and TV legislation went through unscathed.

The filmmaking law now provides $100 million over four years -- $25 million annually -- to cover tax write-offs for film and TV projects produced in New York state. The bill also allows New York City to provide as much as $12.5 million in annual tax credits for production in the city.

To be eligible for the program, which covers below-the-line costs, production entities have to book 75% of a their stage work in-state, meaning that projects could not get credits simply by hitting town and filming New York exteriors, then heading elsewhere.

Eligible productions include feature films, television films, pilots and each episode of a television series. Commercials are not included. Two TV projects said to be taking advantage of the incentives -- which take effect immediately -- are Fox's "Jonny Zero" and NBC's "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."

Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting in the Big Apple, says, "New York City has always offered filmmakers the most incredible locations in the world, and this new legislation makes it more attractive to shoot interiors alongside the city's unparalleled exteriors ... [The city's] production industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers and contributes $5 billion to our economy on an annual basis, and we are committed to maintaining our competitive position in this sector."

The tax incentives were backed by New York's unions and guilds -- including the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist -- as well as New York soundstage facilities including Steiner Studios, Silvercup Studios and Kaufman Astoria Studios.

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