San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Committee Approves Film Incentive Bill

By Mark Madler Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A California Assembly committee on Tuesday approved a measure aimed at improving the state’s tax incentive program for the entertainment industry.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014 will make feature films of any budget size eligible for a tax credit so long as filming occurs in California. It will also extend the credit program for the next five years and open it up to television pilots and new hourlong series regardless if they air on broadcast or cable or stream via the Internet.

The measure, which passed 7-0 by the Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee, would answer one of the big criticisms of California’s tax incentive plan for filmmakers: that it excluded bigger movies, or those with filming budgets greater than $75 million.

The state’s production tax credit program began in 2009 as a response to television and films leaving California for other states and taking with them production jobs. The program is administered by the California Film Commission and funded for $100 million a year through the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

“We can’t afford to let any more jobs abandon our state, and this effort is a rare example of government appropriately taking steps to ensure well-paying jobs stay in California,” Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) said in a prepared statement.

Gatto and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) introduced the bill in February. It now goes to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, of which Gatto is the chair.