California film and TV tax credit going to Assembly vote

California film and TV tax credit going to Assembly vote

from: Annlee Ellingson, L.A. Biz

Legislation to expand and extend California’s incentives program for film and television has cleared yet another hurdle as it wends it way through the state government. The bill was unanimously passed by the appropriations committee on Friday, per the Hollywood Reporter. Next the legislation will go to the full Assembly for a vote.

With the bill’s co-author Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) chairing the appropriations committee, passage was expected. And with 70 co-sponsors in the Assembly, it should pass there as well.

However, the proposal still faces several obstacles. For one, a dollar amount has yet to be assigned. The current annual budget for the program is $100 million, but backers of the new bill would like to see that rise to New York State levels of $430 million.

In addition, the legislation faces stronger opposition in the Senate from Northern California representatives who believe the tax credits will mostly benefit the southern part of the state. The bill has been amended to add a 5 percent bonus for projects shot outside the Los Angeles area. Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to reveal whether he’d sign the bill if it makes it to his desk.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act would raise the $75 million budget cap on movies and include network TV dramas as well as extend the program through 2022. The bill has been amended to include tax credits for musicians and postproduction, including visual effects, as well.

The California Film Commission will accept applications for the tax credit program for the next fiscal year starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 2. All applications received by 3 p.m. that day will be allocated by a random lottery. All $100 million in funding is expected to be claimed in that first six-hour window.

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