Lights, cameras, 300 dollars! NY to charge movie makers

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The Independent Culture

New York, one of the greatest natural movie sets on the planet, plans for the first time to charge film and television producers a small permit fee, officials said.

The city - the location for films from "King Kong" to Woody Allen classics and disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow" - is Hollywood's home away from home and until now has issued filming permits without charge.

Citing budget problems, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration said it wants a 300 dollar application fee from makers of films, television series and commercials.

"With the city facing unprecedented budget challenges, the money raised will be used to meet budget cuts," the city's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting said in a statement.

"The 300 dollar fee is a proposal," the office said, adding that "there are no plans to charge for exterior locations or police assistance."

The fee would be applied to initial permits for each new project, but subsequent requests for scouting, shooting and other work would be dealt with free of charge, the mayor's office said.

A final decision will be announced after a 30-day period of public comment.

About 100,000 people in New York work for the entertainment industry, according to the mayor's office. The local industry generates about five billion dollars a year.