“Lights, Camera and continued Action!”
That’s the hope of the city’s Legislative Committee as it recommends the city council adopt a “support” position for Assembly Bill 1069 at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
The bill, co-authored by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and introduced by fellow Assembly Felipe Fuentes of Sylmar in February, would extend the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program by an additional five years from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019.
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In a January opinion piece Smyth said the tax credit program “has proven to be a wildly successful case of the state working with businesses to keep jobs right here in California”.
In February 2009, the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program was enacted as part of a targeted economic stimulus package to increase production spending, jobs and tax revenues in California.
The program specifically targets productions that are most likely to leave the state due to incentives being offered in other states and countries.
Smyth likened the loss of entertainment jobs to that of aerospace:
“Forty years ago California was the hub of our nation's aerospace industry. Thousands of Californians-with varying skill sets and education levels-could count on well-paying, high quality aerospace jobs. Twenty years later, my friends and I grew up believing that we would have similar job opportunities in the entertainment industry.”
One hundred million dollars is allocated by the Legislature annually beginning fiscal year 2009/2010 through fiscal year 2013/2014 for the film tax incentive program.
Since 2009, more than 100 film projects have been approved for the program statewide.
According to the city, 22 of the approved credit project projects were filmed or are currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley with 16 projects located in the City.
Since the program began in July 2009, $300 million in tax credits have been allocated resulting in $2.2 billion in direct production spending in California.
Smyth believes businesses and jobs are being chased away by our state's “overly aggressive regulatory environment, high taxes, and growing competition from other states.”
The California Film Commission (CFC) administers the current five year, $500 million program which provides tax credits (beginning in tax year 2011) to eligible film and TV productions.
In addition to extending the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program by an additional five years the bill would also extend the existing authority to allocate $100 million per fiscal year through FY 2018-19.
The tax credit is not available for commercial advertising, music videos, motion pictures for non -commercial use, news and public events programs, talk shows, game shows, reality programming, documentaries, and pornographic films.