Los Angeles Business Journal

Assemblymen Introduce Expanded Film Tax Credit Bill

By Jonathan Polakoff Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Los Angeles assemblymen on Wednesday introduced a bill to ramp up California’s efforts to hold onto film and TV production.

The bill seeks to expand the state’s $100 million tax credit program that began in 2009, although no specific dollar amount has been outlined yet. The idea is to better compete with states such as New York that have far larger tax credit programs.

Other changes would include making the tax credit available to all productions, including big-budget blockbusters. Currently, productions with budgets above $75 million are ineligible to receive the tax credit.

Under the proposal, productions would have their qualified expenditures capped at $100 million. The current tax credit covers up to 25 percent of qualified expenditures.

Another idea is offering an additional 5 percent tax credit for productions filming elsewhere in the state. That could help the bill gain support among Northern California legislators.

The bill was introduced by assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) and co-authored by 50 assemblymembers and nine state senators.

Mayor Eric Garcetti applauded the bill in a statement.

“California is forced to turn away hundreds of productions every year because the current incentive is insufficient,” Garcetti said in the statement. “I applaud assemblymembers Gatto and Bocanegra for taking the lead on enhancing this important program.”