UPDATE, 3:10 PM: We told you earlier this week when Gov. Jerry Brown would be putting pen to paper to the legislation to greatly increase California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program and now it’s official. In a made-in-Hollywood event, the Governor and a plethora of state and local pols plus industry and union figures will be at the TCL Chinese Theatre tomorrow morning to make the overwhelmingly passed Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act and its $330 million a year incentive the law of the state. “This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work,” said Brown in a statement today. Read the full statement below.
PREVIOUS, SEPT. 15 PM – EXCLUSIVE: A little more than two weeks after the state Senate overwhelmingly voted to increase California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program to $330 million a year, Gov. Jerry Brown is aiming to make the legislation law in a few days. If everything comes together as planned, he will sign the Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act on Thursday, I’ve learned. With a mountain of bills to put pen to paper on, the governor actually has until the end of the month to sign the multi-sponsor Act.
“He wants to get this out of the way well before the election,” a Sacramento source told me. The gubernatorial election is November 4, with Brown widely expected to cruise to victory over Republican challenger Neel Kashkari.
There has been no definitive word whether expected dual signing ceremonies in both LA and San Francisco featuring moguls, mayors, union officials and a slew of state pols will take place, or if the governor’s office will choose a more low-key event just in LA on Thursday morning.
While long publicly uncommitted on proposals to expand the 5-year-old program, Brown finally sat down with state legislative leaders on the evening of August 26 to strike a deal. With top Democrats including incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon and top GOPers around the table, the horse trading saw the film and TV tax incentives expansion trimmed from the $400 million the Senate Appropriations committee passed on August 14 to $330 million. That cut was a lot less than many anticipated the governor would demand. With Brown on board, the amended legislation sailed through the state Senate on August 29.
Set to take effect next year, the injection of cash into the home of Hollywood is intended to turn around the more than a decade of runaway production to more lucrative states such as Georgia and Louisiana as well as Canadian provinces and other countries. With new cash and a new emphasis on job creation, the newly expanded program is set to last until 2020, at which time it will be reviewed. For the first time since the program was introduced in 2009, features with budgets of more than $75 million and network pilots will be eligible for tax incentives. As part of the bill, the much criticized lottery allocation of credits will be abolished.
Although it’s a huge boost from the previous $100 million allocated annually, the Golden State is not handing out the most money in the U.S. That honor belongs to New York state, with its $420 million a year program. Not that Hollywood is fretting too much about that right now with the end to at least one drought now in sight.
GOV. BROWN ANNOUNCEMENT OF FILM & TV TAX CREDITS SIGNING
LOS ANGELES – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. will join legislative leaders and dozens of film and television workers tomorrow in the heart of Hollywood, where he will sign legislation – AB 1839 by Assemblymembers Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul J. Bocanegra (D-Los Angeles) – to expand, extend and improve California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program.
“This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work,” said Governor Brown in late August after he reached a deal with Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the bill.
The legislation will increase the state’s film and television tax credit to $330 million a year for five years beginning with fiscal year 2015-16 and replace the current flawed and arbitrary lottery system with a more competitive and accountable system that ranks applicants according to net new jobs created and overall positive economic impacts for the entire state.