State lawmakers voted to increase tax incentives for film and television by an additional $ 330 million in a bid to increase studio supply and prevent production jobs from leaving the state.
The California Senate and Assembly on Thursday approved Senate Bill 144, which will address the lack of sound spaces in the region. The measure also introduces diversity goals to address the lack of access to Hollywood for workers of color and other marginalized groups.
For memory :
5:50 p.m. July 16, 2021An earlier version of this article indicated that the Senate and Assembly approved SB 144 on Tuesday. The approval took place on Thursday.
The tax credit includes a $ 180 million increase in the current $ 330 million annual cinema tax incentive program – which runs until 2025 – and a new $ 150 million construction credit. of sound scenes.
The additional tax incentive funds are intended to address a shortfall in the current tax credit program, caused in part by the high number of recurring TV shows that are eligible for tax breaks as long as they are broadcast in the State. California also faces continued competition from New Mexico, New York and other states that offer tax incentives to attract film and television crews.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill shortly, according to a statement from Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La CaÃ±ada Flintridge), who supported the bill.
“Investing in the construction of sound stages and the establishment of studios and filming locations is a critical addition to our efforts to increase filming in the Golden State,” Portantino said in the statement. âNew milestones will generate thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in wages and billions of dollars in economic benefits for California. “
Last year, beneficiaries of the program included the Netflix film “Gray Man,” starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, which received a $ 20 million tax break, according to the California Film Commission. While production began last summer after a forced halt to filming in the event of a pandemic, several television productions have moved to the state to take advantage of the incentives. Shows for streaming platforms such as Disney + and Amazon were also among the beneficiaries.
The new bill increases the available tax credits by $ 15 million for each of fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 for television series that move to California. It also increases the bucket of credits by $ 75 million each year for recurring TV series exclusively.
The planned $ 150 million sound stage incentive provides 20% or 25% credits for productions that shoot in renovated or newly constructed sound stages. Scenes must be certified by the California Film Commission.
And they’re required to meet workforce diversity goals that reflect California’s people in terms of race and gender.
Each series or film project can claim a maximum of $ 12 million, and construction costs must exceed $ 25 million over five years.
In addition, motion picture producers must spend at least $ 7.5 million on qualified salaries for soundstage filming and own more than 50% of the facility or have a lease or contract of more than 10 years. .
The new incentive echoes some elements of the recently revamped tax incentives for New Mexico films that lifted the credit cap for studios that have invested in local facilities. The incentives drew Netflix and NBCUniversal into decade-long, billion-dollar studio investment deals in Albuquerque.
The new California bill was supported by Portantino and co-authored by Assembly Member Autumn Burke (D-Marina del Rey), chairman of the Assembly’s Revenue and Taxation Committee, and Wendy Carrillo ( D-Los Angeles) Assembly member.
In 2018, California extended the state’s film tax incentive program for five years to counter the tide of rampant productions.
Under the $ 330 million program, producers can recoup up to 25% of their expenses, up to $ 100 million, from crew compensation and other costs, such as construction kits. . Studios can then use the credits to offset state tax obligations in California. It does not cover the salaries of stars and other so-called above-the-line production workers.