California mayors ask lawmakers to offer more tax breaks to Hollywood

LOS ANGELES Tue May 13, 2014 5:26pm EDT

A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopter flies over the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California February 21, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) helicopter flies over the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, California February 21, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Legislation to expand California's tax credits for movie and TV projects will help make the state competitive against other states that are drawing big-budget productions, mayors for large cities said in a letter to lawmakers released on Tuesday.

On large film productions, the bill would make up to $100 million in qualified expenditures eligible for tax credits. It also would bring television pilots into the program.

The bill, which was to go before the state Assembly's revenue and taxation committee on Tuesday, would build on an existing state tax credit approved in 2009 that provides $100 million a year in tax credits to the entertainment industry.

Mayors of 10 major California cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland, said in the letter that a decade ago, Hollywood productions were made in cities across the state. That is no longer the case, they said.

"Now California has lost nearly all big-budget feature film production and most television production to other states and nations which have ramped up their incentive programs," the letter said.

They added that the expanded tax credit is needed to make California competitive again for the film and television industry. "Too much is at stake for the people of California to let this key industry slip away," the mayors said.

A study of employment and production data released in February by the Milken Institute, an economic think tank, found California has lost tens of thousands of entertainment jobs to New York and other U.S. states in the past decade, as film and television productions have left.

California lost 16,137 film and TV industry jobs between 2004 and 2012, and in the same period, New York gained 10,675 entertainment jobs, the report said.

Most states offer tax credits to film and television productions, and California legislative officials say that amounts to $1.4 billion a year for the industry.

Critics of the tax credits say Hollywood producers play one state against another to get the best deal for their projects.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Dan Grebler)

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Comments (1)
morbas wrote:
Tax is not just on Income,
Disposable income is required to spur the economy. However the city-county municipality are short the revenue, thus tending to increase low income burden. Property and fee based revenue are the only constitutionally available revenues and the fixed-low income people know it. This revenue base unfairly burdens sustenance side economics. This is favored by the Tea-GOP because they are funded by the 0.1%, while the DNC is supported by the 99.9% economics. USA tax structure is the fault and an obstacle to worldly potential. Transaction tax code imposes disproportionate burden at the most fundamental rights of liberty, justice. Any encumbrance on sustenance is contrary to equality in the ’pursuit of happiness’. Debt and deficit is simply insufficient revenue. We can nationalize the tax code eliminating all other taxation, immediately balancing the budget(s), through a margin graduated income tax principle.

To: Office of Senator ____________________
United States Senate Washington,
D.C. 20510
To: Office of Representative_________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
We the people of this United States do proclaim this federal government ‘of, by and for the people’. That, in order to fairly distribute revenue burden, to satisfy ‘net income’ progressive taxation, to balance all governments budgets, and to not tax poverty;
The people mandate:
Income National Tax code that shall use margin graduated income tax principle: Margin $30k 0% single, $60K 0% joint, income above this a linear increasing rate {Income-[$30k or $60k])*(Income/$800k)*90%; 90% limit} . Exemptions shall be prohibited. The Federal Reserve shall amend the (90%) rate, and control currency printing mandated to maintaining currency availability and value. The Federal Reserve shall set the Margin rate value well (>2x) above highest of all State Poverty Level(s). Revenue shall be proportioned 1/3rd Federal,1/3rd State proportioned per cast ballot and 1/3rd Local proportioned per cast ballot.
This National Tax is a peoples tax, no other citizen taxation shall be permitted. Business shall not be taxed. The Federal Reserve shall control taxation. The people will by simple majority approve or reject all margin and rate changes at every Congressional House Representative election year ballot.


May 14, 2014 11:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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