California Lawmakers Seek Big Boost To Film & TV Tax Credits

California lawmakers are seeking a big boost to the state’s film and TV tax credit program, a $180 million hike that would bring the Golden State more in parity with New York.

The state Senate Budget Committee adopted a proposal last week that would provide $90 million per year for 2021-22 and 2022-23. That is a far figure than Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to increase the tax incentives by $30 million in the next fiscal year.

If the $90 million expansion ends up in the budget, it will be added to the $330 million annual outlay in the current program, which is administered by the California Film Commission. The would set the program at $420 million. That is the same level that the state of New York sets for its program, which has been highly successful in luring production to the state.

Toni Atkins, the Senate president pro tem, said in a statement, “California’s film tax credit has a proven track record and has generated economic activity worth more than six times the investment made by the state by attracting productions that otherwise would have happened in other states or countries. As our COVID numbers continue to improve and productions ramp up, now is the time to make sure we’re investing in the California film industry. It’s long been a central plot point to our state’s story and it will be key to our recovery.”  Variety first reported on the proposed tax credit increase.

The legislative proposal includes $75 million for credits for recurring shows and $15 million for relocating series. In the past seven years, about two dozen shows have relocated to California from other production centers, including New York, Georgia and British Columbia. In April, HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant and TBS’s Chad were awarded credits to shoot their second seasons in the state.


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