Ice T Backs New York City Council Bill

Rapper Ice T is expected

to testify before the New York City Council today (Dec. 1) to support a tax credit

on TV and movie production


Along with Director

Spike Lee and Tribeca Film Festival Founder Jane Rosenthal, Ice T will lobby

a bill proposed by New York City Mayor

Michael Bloomberg and the City Council at a council hearing.

The bill advocates

a five percent tax credit on what are known as "below-the-line" TV

and movie production expenses, consisting of

payments to technical workers, stagehands and extras.

"Were losing

a lot of business to Canada and to California," Councilman

David Weprin (D-Queens Village), chairman of the councils

Finance Committee, told New York Newsday. "And this will help

us be more competitive."

Though film production

in New York City plummeted after the 2001 terrorist attacks - from 23,000 film

days in 1998 to around 19,000 in

2003-it has recently recovered, according to the Mayor Bloomberg's

film office.

The bill must first

be approved by Albany officials, though Weprin said he hopes the Legislature

will pass the measure in January. Afterwards,

the bill could conceivably become a law.