Bill would extend film tax credit

A bill was introduced in the state Assembly Thursday to extend by five more years the film and television tax credit program, which proponents say has created more than 20,000 jobs and generated more than $200 million in tax revenues.

The bill, AB 2026, was introduced by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and co-sponsored by several lawmakers, including Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake).

Fuentes introduced a bill last year that extended the program, enacted in 2009, an extra year. Currently, the last tax credits will be authorized in July 2013.

A recent study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. showed that the first two years of the program generated $3.8 billion in economic activity statewide.

“With the state’s unemployment rate hovering around 12%, we need to extend this targeted incentive to help keep Californians employed,” Fuentes said in a statement. “Extending this program will prevent production companies from moving their projects, jobs and spending out of California.”

So far, $400 million in tax credits have been given to film and television productions, Fuentes said, adding that the program targets productions that are most likely to leave California because of incentives offered in other states and countries.

More than 40 states, New York City and Canada offer substantial financial incentives to the film industry. Those incentives are intended to pull production and post-production jobs and spending into the locales offering them.

— Mark Kellam

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