| SACRAMENTO, Calif.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Aug 27 California will
triple its tax breaks for entertainment companies doing business
in the state, the latest effort to stem a tide of runaway
production that has cost billions in revenue in Hollywood's home
state under a deal announced on Wednesday.
The increase in tax credits, aimed at luring production back
to California even as other states offer tax breaks of their
own, comes just a few weeks after the California Film Commission
said the state had lost $2 billion in the past four years alone
as producers sought cheaper places to do business.
"This law will make key improvements in our Film and
Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians
to work," said Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who signed on to
the deal along with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the
The deal, which still must be approved by both houses of the
legislature before the end of their session this week, would
increase the amount of money available for tax credits for film
and television production to $330 million per year, up from
about $100 million.
If passed and signed by the governor as expected, the tax
credits will be awarded through a lottery system, with
preference given to companies that create the most jobs and do
the most to help the state's economy, Brown's office said.
With thousands of jobs dependent on film and television
production in Southern California, the plan was welcomed by Los
Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said it would "protect and
expand an industry that is integral to our economy and our
California has been battling for years to keep its storied
film industry - a source of thousands of jobs and millions in
tax revenues - at home, even as producers have sought cheaper
places to film than heavily unionized Los Angeles.
"We would really like to return California to its heyday in
terms of being the number one place for entertainment
production," said film commission executive director Amy
Lemisch, when her organization released a report on the problem
The number of productions fleeing the state has increased
in recent years despite a state program meant to offer tax
incentives to keep them in the most populous U.S. state.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Sandra Maler)