The New York City Economic Development Corp. last week announced the creation of a tax-exempt bond program for media companies that utilizes the expanded definition of manufacturing under the federal stimulus package.

The Media Tech Bond Program is part of a larger initiative announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to boost the city’s media industry.

The media industry employs more than 300,000 people in the city, roughly 10% of the private workforce, according to a press release.

The borrowers can use the program to finance projects costing $1 million to $10 million, including the purchase of new facilities and information technology equipment and the retrofitting of existing buildings for computer servers.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allows state and local governments to issue tax-exempt small-issue manufacturing bonds for facilities that create intangible property such as patents, copyrights, formulas, processes, designs, computer software and certain intellectual property.

Prior to the provisions of the stimulus act, which sunset at the end of 2010, such bonds had be used for to create tangible property. The act also removed restrictions on how much of the bond proceeds could be used to outfit facilities for things related to core manufacturing such as research and development, space for inventory and non-executive office space.

The EDC is a quasi-public corporation that oversees and implements the city’s economic development program. Manufacturing bonds can be issued through the New York City Industrial Development Agency and the New York City Capital Resources Corp.

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