California State Assembly Passes Bill to Extend Film, TV Tax Credit Program

The bill, which would extend the program for five more years, was approved by a vote of 72-1 and next moves to the state Senate.

California's State Assembly has passed a bill that would extend California's film and television tax credit program for five more years.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, was approved by a vote of 72-1. It next moves to the state Senate, where a vote will take place later this summer.

It would provide an additional $500 million in funding for the credit program, which is currently set to expire in fiscal year 2013-14. The last credits will be allocated by July, 2012. 

Designed to keep film and TV productions within the state, the incentive program was launched in 2009 and offers filmmakers a tax credit equivalent to 20%-25% of qualified production expenses.

So far, the state has allocated $300 million in credits, and according to the California Film Commission, the incentives have generated 31,000 jobs and $2.2 billion in production spending.

In the last fiscal year, it distributed its $100 million annual budget to 43 productions on the first day, forcing the rest of the applicants to join a waiting list.

A new round of $100 million will become available July 1 for the next fiscal year.

"I'm pleased my Assembly colleagues joined me in supporting AB1069. By any measure, the program so far has been a tremendous success and should be extended," Fuentes said. "With the state's unemployment rate hovering around 12%, we need this incentive to keep hundreds of thousands of Californians employed. Extending the incentive program will prevent production companies from moving their projects, jobs and spending out of California."