Never mind the study showing that these special and very expensive tax carve-outs for Hollywood have done absolutely nothing to save jobs or stop productions from running away to other states, Los Angeles Mayor Gil Garcetti and nine other California mayors are still callling for an expansion of the tax credit program, which currently costs the California taxpayer $100 million a year.
Under a new proposal, this windfall for wealthy film executives, many of whom donate to and fundraise for the very same Democrats ready to vote for the tax cuts, could cost California’s already over-burdened taxpayers close two or three times as much as it does now:
The desire of the 10 Mayors to curb runaway production was expressed in writing to Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima). The duo are co-authors of the multi-sponsored Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act. Introduced on February 19, the legislation proposes allowing pics with budgets of more than $75 million and network pilots to now be eligible for state tax incentives, among other measures. In an attempt to make this a statewide issue and not just an LA matter, the act also proposes an additional 5% credit to productions shot outside Southern California. No dollar figure has been attached to the legislation, but figures in the realm of $300 million-$400 million have been advocated by industry leaders.
Everyone who benefits from this corporate welfare does a great job of portraying the tax credits as something that helps the little guy. But the productions still flee, the middle class jobs still vanish.
From where I sit, these tax credits look like a legalized from of graft, a quid-pro-quo… Donate and fundraise for Democrats and Democrats will drown you in money paid for by the little guy.
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