California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly unveiled a newcampaign-related billboard in the state of Georgia. The billboard isintended to send the message that California wants to bring filmmakerswho have fled the state back to Hollywood.
The billboard isintended to highlight AB 1780, a bill which Donnelly proposed to replacethe state’s current tax lottery system with a tax credit for filmsproduced in California with a total budget over $500,000.
The URL runawaytoCA.com redirects to this pageon Donnelly’s campaign website. The page notes that Georgia andLousiana have been stealing away film and TV production from California.It says, “California started the film industry and now it’sfacing extinction inour state. Due to oppressive regulations and a lack of a competitive taxcredit, our once iconic film industry has become Hollywood in nameonly.”
Donnelly says revamping the tax credit will restore those missing jobs: “This is a strong incentive to bring work back to all businesses fromsmall corner markets, to tradesmen, to lumber yards, – all the localbusinesses that rely on a healthy film environment in Hollywood.”
The LA Times reported last weekthat there is ongoing debate over whether the current tax break forfilm producers really benefits the state. The Southern California Assn.of Governments claims that California gained $1.11 for every $1 intax credits, but a new report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office claimsthe real figure is just 65 cents on the dollar. Donnelly disputed thatfinding, telling the LA Times it was “a bunch of nonsense.”
Donnelly’s Republican opponent in the Governor’s race, Neel Kashkari, opposes a tax credit for the film industry.