Variety is reporting that unions and other below the line film and TV workers have rallied with Hollywood actors in support of a plan for increased tax incentives to keep movies and TV production in California.
The rally, a two-hour event attended by more than 300 Hollywood actors and union trade workers, demonstrated in favor of California Assembly Bill 1839. The bill’s tax incentive program is making its way to the Senate floor for a final bill reckoning. The bill’s tax credit abatement will jump from $100 million a year to $400 million a year, which just happens to be close to $420 million a year, the amount New York has put in place for its own incentives, widely seen as successful. The Cal state credit will also, for the first time, run for multiple years – just like the New York measure – which producers like for long-term planning.
The California bill will also end its lottery system, which had been used to more equitably distribute the limited $100 million credit. However Gov. Jerry Brown, who has staked his reputation on balancing the state’s budget and ridding it of debt, still must sign the measure.
Do film and TV tax credits really offer much more benefit than offer tax payer money to large corporations and film and television investment funds? That’s not a very simple question to answer, but there have been enough analysts who see the tax credits as giveaways that cash-strapped economies can’t really afford.
The New York bill has been given credit for helping the state and especially the city boost feature film and TV production to its highest levels in the modern era. Thousands of jobs have been created and billions of dollars spent in the tri-state area over the past decade that the expanded credits have been in place. Besides New York, many other states as well as foreign countries have been battling for these same film and TV jobs with increased incentives of their own. It’s unclear if California can expect all of its lost jobs to return.
You can read the full article by Variety film reporter Dave McNary by clicking here.