Back in 2021, New York State approved a program called the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit as part of the state budget. The initiative was designed to help reopen Broadway after the pandemic shutdown by offering an incentive to producers (and, in turn, their investors): 25 percent of qualified costs — up to $3 million — would be reimbursed as a tax credit.
Though there is a longtime tax credit like this for New York theaters outside the city (colloquially called the upstate tax credit), the passage of this particular program (known as the downstate tax credit) marked the first of its kind for Broadway. It’s important to understand that what is widely referred to as a “tax credit” is actually a program that allows individual productions to apply for a tax credit.
The program was set to last until 2023, with a June 30 deadline for applications. Earlier this year, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin told Broadway News that renewing this program was a priority. On May 3, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a two-year extension of the tax credit program that also included additional updates.
When the program was first established in 2021, the state allotted $200 million to fund the tax credits for initial applications filed by the 2023 deadline. The renewal of the program not only extended that deadline to June 30, 2025, but it also increased the funding by $100 million. That’s an aggregate of $300 million in tax relief.