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Film Tax Credit Expansion Passes Assembly

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Legislation to expand and extend incentives to keep film and television production in California passed a major milestone.

As expected, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014 was approved by the state assembly Wednesday by a unanimous vote of 71-0.

The legislation, authored by Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) had more than 60 co-authors.

However, there is still no specific amount of money the state will put up for the new legislation, which would replace the current program that allocates $100 million a year, which has not proven to be enough to stem the flow of production to other states and countries that offer even greater incentives.

A source in Sacramento said that the amount will be determined in coming weeks after the budget priorities become clearer. Advocates are hoping to see the amount authorized increased by two to four times, but that may be too ambitious. There was a legislative analyst report that said the program doesn’t return as much in tax dollars as backers claim, but Gatto has said that did not consider the local tax revenue or the jobs that are created.

“We can’t sit by and watch a $17 billion dollar a year sector of our economy leave California,” said Bocanegra. “This expanded and improved program will go a long way toward making California more competitive with other states’ programs.”

Between 2004 and 2012, California lost more than 16,000 film- and television-industry jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in lost wages and economic activity.

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