Gov. Jerry Brown has signed off on a deal that would more than triple funding for California's film and TV tax-credit program.
The compromise would increase funding to $330 million a year over the next five years. While that falls short of the $400 million annually sought by backers, the amount would more than triple the current level of funding.
AB 1839 also would allow more projects to qualify, including new network television dramas and big-budget studio movies. It would also scrap a controversial lottery system used to divvy up funds. Instead, tax credits would be allocated based on how many jobs projects would create. ...
It's not the $400+ million that some AB 1839 backers were hoping for, but it's higher than some of the crustier cynics among us believed we would end up with.
This bill will favorably impact visual effects and will likely bring work back in those areas to Los Angeles and the bay area. (It's doubtful the legislation will bring back all the work. Canada is still handing out more free money than California is.)
The next eighteen months should tell us how effective the new tax incentives will be.
Add On: From the California Film & Television Production Alliance (which includes a whole bunch of entertainment guilds and labor unions):
“On behalf of hundreds of thousands of middle class California workers, creative talent, small businesses, vendors, local governments and film commissioners across the state, theatre owners, tourism, hotel and lodging associations, we are elated at the statement today by Governor Brown, Speaker Atkins, Senate President Pro Tem-elect de León, Senate President Steinberg, Assembly Leader Conway and Republican Leader Huff that California’s film and television production incentive program will be expanded, extended, and improved through the passage of AB 1839 and with funding of $330 million a year for five years. This is a win both for the State of California and the working men and women across this state who will no longer have only one choice— to leave their families to feed their families. Behind the glitter that most people associate with Hollywood is the glue that holds it together—the many talented and often unheralded men and women whose names fly by in the credits. Their voices are rarely heard but they are today: AB 1839 is for them.
We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Brown, Speaker Atkins, Senate President Pro Tem-elect de León, and Senate President Steinberg, along with Assembly Republican leader Conway and Republican Leader Huff who gave this legislation their support so it could move forward to a vote. We also wholeheartedly thank the two authors, Assemblymembers Gatto and Bocanegra for their leadership and commitment throughout the past year, as well AB 1839’s 70 co-authors. We look forward to working with all of them on passage in the Senate and Assembly and to the Governor’s desk for his signature."