Gov. Brown signs bill that triples tax credits for films

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before signing the new film tax credit bill in front of TLC Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Sept. 18.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

During a ceremony in Hollywood on Thursday morning, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will triple annual funding for the state’s film tax credit program.

“This is a great day for Hollywood, for California,” said Brown, in the courtyard outside the TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre. “We will create thousands and tens of thousands of jobs.”

The law will boost funding to $330 million annually over five years, beginning in 2015. That compares with the current level of $100 million per year.


The legislation also will allow more projects to qualify for the subsidies, including large-budget features and TV pilots, and phase out an unpopular lottery used to select applicants. Instead, projects will be selected based on how many crew members they employ.

Yes, it is taxpayers’ money,” Brown told a crowd of about 200 politicians, entertainment industry workers and union leaders. “But it’s taxpayers’ money that is going to build jobs for the future.”

The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and the Assembly last month. The signing was a formality as Brown previously announced he would sign the bill.

The ceremony took place outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at 10 a.m. with speeches by Brown, state lawmakers and Mayor Eric Garcetti, who lobbied hard for the expanded incentives.

“It is time to put Hollywood back in Hollywood and today we do that,” Garcetti said, thanking his “film czar” entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren and his deputy Rajiv Dalal for their lobbying efforts.

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