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HomeCommunityCalifornia Tax Incentive Bill Clears Legislative Hurdle

California Tax Incentive Bill Clears Legislative Hurdle

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Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra and Mike Gatto introduce AB 1839 - The Expanded Film & TV Job Creation Act.
In February, Assemblymembers Raul Bocanegra and Mike Gatto introduced AB 1839.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014 (AB 1839) passed the State Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee yesterday by a vote of 7-0. The legislation, authored by Assemblymembers Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), would expand and improve the State’s current program to keep production jobs in California. The bill, which has widespread support among unions, guild, trade associations and studios, has 64 co-authors, including a majority of the State Assembly.

“We can’t sit by and watch a $17 billion dollar a year sector of our economy leave California,” said Bocanegra. “This expanded and improved program will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programs. I appreciate the Committee’s unanimous support of AB 1839 today and look forward to seeing it continue through the legislative process and ultimately protecting California jobs.”

California’s film and television industry has faced increasing competition in recent years from subsidies by other states and countries. Since its creation in 2009, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act prevented as many as 51,000 well-paying jobs from leaving the state, and helped generate $4.5 billion in economic activity. Despite the program’s success, figures from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from 2004-2012, California lost more than 16,000 film and television industry jobs, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in lost wages and economic activity.

“I remember when our communities lost all the good aerospace jobs,” said Gatto. “Losing major employers really harms local families and our state economy. We can’t afford to let any more jobs abandon our state, and this effort is a rare example of government appropriately taking steps to ensure well-paying jobs stay in California.”

The bill now will now go to the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation, which Bocanegra chairs, then to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Gatto. California Governor Jerry Brown has not indicated his stance on the measure, but he will come under intense pressure from Hollywood to get on board.

The bill would extend California’s tax incentive program for five years, and would open it up to big-budget studio films, network TV shows and shows shot for online OTT distributors like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

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