| SACRAMENTO, Calif.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. May 28 A bill to lure
filmmakers into California with tax incentives passed
unanimously in the state Assembly on Wednesday, bringing the
state a step closer to extending and increasing existing tax
credits for the entertainment industry.
Certain television shows, major feature films and
independent films would have access to a larger pool of
increased tax breaks under the measure, which has received
bipartisan support since it was proposed in February.
Republican Assembly member Scott Wilk, who co-authored the
bill, has promoted the measure as a way to create and retain
jobs by sweetening the pot for the film industry, which he said
has been migrating outside of California since the late 1990s
because of better tax credits offered elsewhere.
"The expansion of the film tax credit is a necessity to keep
the iconic film industry in our own backyard," Wilk said. "This
unique industry will continue to serve as an economic resource
as long as we support the industry and keep California
The film tax credit bill, which now heads to the state
Senate, would add a five-year extension to an existing tax
credit program for the film industry at large, called the
California Film and Television Job Retention Act.
Under existing law, certain filmmakers and TV show producers
in California can apply for tax credits of 20 percent through a
lottery system that had been due to expire at the end of the
2015 fiscal year.
The measure that passed the assembly on Wednesday would
extend those existing tax credits for another five years while
also offering an additional 5 percent tax credit to production
companies that relocate to California from outside the state.
It would add an additional 5 percent tax incentive for films
shot outside of Los Angeles to give those areas an economic
boost. It would also make it easier for filmmakers to qualify
for an incentive overall by requiring only 75 percent of filming
to be done in the state, rather than 75 percent of production.
The California Film Commission would be in charge of
dispensing and administering the tax credits program. An
analysis of the bill says the tax breaks would result in the
loss of hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's budget
The measure comes a day after Wilk, along with other
lawmakers whose districts are mostly in or around Los Angeles
County, voted against a bill requiring actors in pornographic
films to wear condoms during sex scenes.
A trade group for the pornography industry warned that the
condom bill would drive the industry out of the state. Wilk's
district encompasses the northern part of the San Fernando
Valley, where the bulk of the pornography made in the United
States is produced.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Ken Wills)