CA Assembly Passes Film and TV Tax Credit Expansion Bill, Dollar Amount Not Included

On Wednesday, the California State Assembly unanimously passed AB 1839, a bill that would expand California's existing film and TV tax credit and incentive program, although the Assembly did not settle on the exact dollar amount of the expanded credits, according to Variety.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act would allow bigger-budget Hollywood films and most one-hour TV shows to qualify for tax credits; previously, only films with budgets up to $75 million could qualify.

The bill's authors, Democratic Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Mike Gatto, reportedly left out the exact dollar figure of the proposed credits because they want to wait a few weeks to see how Governor Brown's state budget turns out. The deadline for the state budget is June 15.

"We felt that, after a lot of back and forth, the most responsible thing to do is to wait until California's budget picture gets clearer," Gatto told Variety.

The Sacramento Bee reported on May 1 that California's current $100 million tax incentive program for films and TV is not doing anything to keep productions from leaving the state. That report notes that, of the 41 feature films shot in 2012-2013, just two used California for their primary shooting location, and nine used the state as a secondary location. The rest were filmed entirely out of state.

Republican Assemblyman and California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly voted for the bill but said on the Assembly floor that the proposed legislation does not do enough to shore up the film industry in the state.

"Other states have stolen away this industry," Donnelly said, according to the report. "We are now Hollywood in name only."

The bill will now move on to the Senate for a vote. If enacted, producers can start redeeming the newly-expanded credits in July 2016.


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