Thursday, June 30, 2011

Support tax credits to keep our work local - UPDATED

Next Wednesday the California Senate's Governance & Finance Committee will vote on AB 1069, to extend the state's tax credits program for motion picture and television production.

The bill passed the Assembly in May but is facing opposition in the Senate due to the ongoing budget battles.

Here are links to recent articles and sites on the subject:

Below is text of a letter Steve and I have sent to the members of the Senate Committee. We strongly urge members and anyone interested in the future of the California film and television industry to send letters in favor of this important bill.

You're welcome to use this as a template for any letters or e-mails you may wish to send. We must get these letters in the mail in the next 24 to 48 hours if we have any hope of affecting next Wednesdays' vote.

A listing of the Governance & Finance Committee members is below the letter text. You can also use this web page to find your state senator. Just remember that the time is very short to get the word to our state senators about the importance of this legislation.

Dear Senator ____________:

As a member of the Animation Guild Local 839 IATSE, I am writing to urge your support of AB 1069.

This bill extends the term of California’s tax incentives program for qualified motion pictures and television productions that are produced in the state. This program parallels similar programs in many other states that have succeeded in wooing film and television projects away from California.

According to a state-wide report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, since its introduction in 2009 the five-year, $100 million program has pumped $3.8 billion into the California economy, including labor income of $1.4 billion, and created over 20,000 jobs. Based on an analysis of expenditures from nine projects that received state tax credits, the LAEDC found that for each tax dollar allocated, the local and state governments will get back at least $1.13 in tax revenue, while the total GDP in the state will increase by $8.48.

Motion picture and television animation in California has suffered terribly from the loss of jobs to other states and countries. The Animation Guild estimates that just one feature project that was approved for the state incentive program, Winnie The Pooh, has created over five hundred jobs for members of the Guild and other IATSE locals.

AB 1069 would extend funding another five years for the film and television tax credits, which would currently expire in 2014. We know that the state faces serious budget issues, but a program such as this that clearly pays for itself and generates revenue should not become a bargaining chip towards a false austerity.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I urge you to support AB 1069.



I agree with Steve H. and Anonymous in the comments below that e-mails aren't necessarily the most effective way to contact legislators. But with the very tight deadline for this campaign, I suspect they may be the only way many of us will have the opportunity to make our feelings known.

Here ks a list of the members of the Governance & Finance Committee with complete contact information. Clicking on the senator's name will bring up an e-mail window with the complete message we wrote above; all you have to do is put your name on the bottom and hit Send. If you'd rather write your own e-mail, copy and paste the addresses shown.

So ... a letter, phone call or fax would be most effective, but e-mails are better than nothing.


Senator Lois Wolk (Chair)
State Capitol, Room 5114
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4005
Fax: (916) 323-2304

Senator Robert Huff (Vice Chair)
State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4029
Fax: (916) 324-0922

Senator Mark DeSaulnier
State Capitol, Room 5035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4007
Fax: (916) 445-2527

Senator Jean Fuller
State Capitol, Room 3063
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4018
Fax: (916) 322-3304

Senator Loni Hancock
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4009
Fax: (916) 327-1997

Senator Ed Hernandez
State Capitol, Room 4085
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 445-0485

Senator Christine Kehoe
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4039
Fax: (916) 327-2188

Senator Doug La Malfa
State Capitol, Room 3070
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4004
Fax: (916) 445-7750

Senator Carol Liu
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 324-7543


Anonymous said...

From what I understand, emails tend to get ignored. I suspect phone calls and faxes will have more of an effect than an email.

Steve Hulett said...

Letters are good. Write lots of letters.

Anonymous said...

I would also encourage people to visit Project Vote Smart and enter their zip codes. That way you can target the Senator that represents you. As I understand it, elected officials will ignore the words of people who cannot vote for them.

Senator Carol Liu currently represents my district. I just used an Internet fax service to send her a fax containing a slightly modified copy of the above message. I also included my home address so that Senator Liu's staff would know I was one of her constituents.

filmecon101 said...

Since the California Film Commission determined that animated feature films are INELIGIBLE for California's tax credit program, why should animators give a darn?

And since the California program grants public subsidies to MPAA members that have lobbied for these breaks all across America and around the world — making LA film/TV jobs LESS secure and moving work to lower-wage areas — I'm not sure why anyone except a big studio suit would care about AB 1069 either.

California is laying off teachers and handing $500 million to big media conglomerates, like Sony and News Corp. (Fox). What a deal.

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