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Bill Introduced to Extend California Film and TV Tax Credits Five Years

Body of Proof
ABC
ABC's "Body of Proof" is one of the shows that has received CA tax credits.

Last year, the state legislature passed a one year extension, but the industry wants a longer term to provide more stability.

A bill that would extend the state of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit program for an additional five years was officially introduced Thursday in the state Assembly by a bipartisan group led by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes.
 
This follows a battle last year to extend the law which provides $100 million a year in tax credits to help keep movie, TV and commercial production in California. At the end of the legislative session last year, the bill was caught up in political battles and was reduced to a single year extension.

STORY: California Extends $100 Million Tax Credit Bill
 
This new bill is an effort to go back to a longer mandate, which is seen by supporters as important so that producers can be confident as they plan that the credits will continue to be available.
 
“Productions are planned sometimes years in advance and episodic cable series must be assured that if they are fortunate enough to qualify for the tax credit program and plan to keep their production here in California that these credits will be available for the run of the production,” said Leo T. Reed Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 399.
 
The legislative effort led by Fuentes has 18 co-authors from both political parties. Along with Fuentes the principal co-authors are – Assemblymembers Betsy Butler, Nora Campos, Mike Gatto and Senator Fran Pavley.  

“By creating tens of thousands of jobs and pumping billions into our economy, the film and television tax credit program has truly been a statewide economic stimulus package,” Fuentes said in a statement.  “With the State’s unemployment rate hovering around 12 percent, we need to extend this targeted incentive to help keep Californians employed.  Extending this program will prevent production companies from moving their projects, jobs and spending out of California.”

STORY: U.K. Govt Extends Tax Credit to 2015; U.S. Studio Projects Will Continue to Benefit

“This bill is imperative to the economic vitality of our state. The film industry represents a vibrant segment of our economy and should be afforded the same opportunities in California as members of the industry can receive in other states,” said Butler. “California must work to ensure our signature industry is not enticed out of the state.”

In announcing the introduction of the bill, which had been expected, Fuentes pointed to a study done last year by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) that said the first two years of the Program generated $3.8 billion dollars in economic activity statewide, created more than 20,000 jobs and over $200 million dollars in tax revenues.  The report also said for every tax credit dollar allocated so far, there has been more than $20 pumped into the State’s economy.
 
“Before the passage of the California Film Production Tax Incentive in 2009, film and television productions were leaving the state in droves for other states and countries that sought the jobs and local revenue that our industry can bring.   Since the California Legislature passed this legislation, the film production incentive, as we knew it would, has lived up to its promise,” said Bryan Unger, Associate National Executive Director/Western Executive Director of the Directors Guild.  

If enacted, it will keep California competitive to attract these good middle class jobs and contribute to California's economic recovery." Said Vans Stevenson, Senior Vice President, State Government Affairs, Motion Picture Association of America