Film production tax break bill closer to final passage

Film production tax break bill closer to final passage
Hollywood workers gather in Burbank in February to discuss how to keep movie and television productions from leaving the state. (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Legislation to stem so-called runaway film production by offering a tax break for California productions is getting close to final passage.

The proposal, AB 1839 by Assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday.

The two authors at minimum want to renew a program that began in 2009 that has provided $100 million a year in state income tax credits for certain feature films, television movies and new television series.

The goal is to increase the financial incentives available to the state film commission to encourage producers to shoot in California and to better compete with similar tax breaks in New York, Louisiana, New Mexico and foreign countries.

Film production over the last 15 years has dropped by nearly 50%, according to proponents.

The bill, which passed the full Assembly without a dissenting vote, now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Supporters at that point are expected to insert a price tag that they say could run as high as $400 million a year.

Twitter: @MarcLifsher