Film Tax Credit Bill Unanimously Passes
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[May 29, 2014]
By Jennifer Chaussee
SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A bill to
lure filmmakers into California with tax incentives passed unanimously
in the state Assembly on Wednesday, bringing the state a step closer to
extending and increasing existing tax credits for the entertainment
Certain television shows, major feature films and independent
films would have access to a larger pool of increased tax breaks
under the measure, which has received bipartisan support since it
was proposed in February.
Republican Assembly member Scott Wilk, who co-authored the bill, has
promoted the measure as a way to create and retain jobs by
sweetening the pot for the film industry, which he said has been
migrating outside of California since the late 1990s because of
better tax credits offered elsewhere.
“The expansion of the film tax credit is a necessity to keep the
iconic film industry in our own backyard,” Wilk said. “This unique
industry will continue to serve as an economic resource as long as
we support the industry and keep California competitive.”
The film tax credit bill, which now heads to the state Senate, would
add a five-year extension to an existing tax credit program for the
film industry at large, called the California Film and Television
Job Retention Act.
Under existing law, certain filmmakers and TV show producers in
California can apply for tax credits of 20 percent through a lottery
system that had been due to expire at the end of the 2015 fiscal
The measure that passed the assembly on Wednesday would extend those
existing tax credits for another five years while also offering an
additional 5 percent tax credit to production companies that
relocate to California from outside the state.
It would add an additional 5 percent tax incentive for films shot
outside of Los Angeles to give those areas an economic boost. It
would also make it easier for filmmakers to qualify for an incentive
overall by requiring only 75 percent of filming to be done in the
state, rather than 75 percent of production.
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The California Film Commission would be in charge of dispensing and
administering the tax credits program. An analysis of the bill says
the tax breaks would result in the loss of hundreds of millions of
dollars from the state’s budget each year.
The measure comes a day after Wilk, along with other lawmakers whose
districts are mostly in or around Los Angeles County, voted against
a bill requiring actors in pornographic films to wear condoms during
A trade group for the pornography industry warned that the condom
bill would drive the industry out of the state. Wilk's district
encompasses the northern part of the San Fernando Valley, where the
bulk of the pornography made in the United States is produced.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)
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