Moneyball

Brad Pitt in "Moneyball." (Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon) (December 18, 2013)

California's film tax credit program would be extended five more years under legislation introduced in Sacramento on Thursday. 

With the support of a coalition of industry groups, including the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar) introduced a bill that would extend the state's film and television tax credit through 2018.

Launched in 2009 in an effort to curb runaway production, the program gives filmmakers a 20% to 25% film tax credit toward certain production expenses. The credit can be applied to any business tax liability filmmakers have with the state.

Last fall, state lawmakers approved a one-year extension of the program, which is set to expire in July 2013. The state allocates $100 million a year to the program. While that is a relatively small amount compared to what other states such as New York offer -- about $400 million annually -- supporters say the tax credit has kept jobs from leaving the state and is necessary to keep California competitive.

"By creating tens of thousands of jobs and pumping billions into our economy, the film and television tax credit program has truly been a statewide economic stimulus package,'' Fuentes said in a statement. "With the state's unemployment rate hovering around 12%, we need to extend this targeted incentive to help keep Californians employed."

-- Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

Photo: Brad Pitt in a scene from the Oscar-nominated movie "Moneyball," which received a California film tax credit. Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon.