A bill designed to rescue California’s music scoring industry is being hailed by the American Federation of Musicians as an important deterrent to the continued “exodus of film and television music jobs.” Introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, the bill would significantly raise the tax credit for motion pictures shot outside of North America if scored in the state.
Current law gives a 5% tax credit for music scoring and music track recording for films shot in California, but Assembly Bill 1300 would grant a tax credit equal to 30% of qualified expenditures relating to postproduction music scoring or recording of a film shot outside of North America that employs 35 or more scoring or recording musicians for postproduction music scoring or recording, and if at least 75% of the postproduction music or scoring occurs within California.
The bill also includes a new low-budget provision that would qualify projects $5 million or under to a scoring credit, regardless of filming location. Funding of the credit would not come from new tax dollars, but from the reallocation of previously dedicated credits.
“California must act now to save the density of infrastructure and labor pool that we need to both be the tremendous artistic and economic resource that we have, and to maintain our status as a global magnet for the best and brightest,” said AFM Local 47 president John Acosta. “By targeting foreign productions, we can lure that work back home and create more scoring jobs here in California. This also ensures that California tax dollars invest in jobs that would otherwise be lost to us.”
“Too often, we see popular film and TV projects shipping our scoring jobs overseas,” states a Musicians Union petition supporting the bill. “California’s legislature needs to protect musicians’ jobs along with other film and television employment. This puts money back into our state’s economy, and provides the quality jobs which supports our longstanding community involvement and development of the arts.”