Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2026 on Sunday, a bill authored by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes and principally co-authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, which extends the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program by an additional two years and $200 million until July 1, 2017. The original program was enacted in 2009 as part of a targeted effort to create jobs, increase production spending, and generate tax revenues for the State.
Since the beginning of this program, it is estimated that $728 million has been spent on local wages, to create an estimated 40,000 good jobs. An additional 172,000 individuals are estimated to have received daily employment as background extras. The tax credit can only be claimed after a film or television show has already been filmed, and an audit has taken place to prove that the expected jobs and economic development actually occurred in California. Thus far, the tax credits have resulted in almost four-billion dollars in economic activity statewide.
“The film and television industries are an essential part of the California economy, especially in our part of the state,” said Gatto. ”Hundreds of thousands of people are employed directly by these industries with millions working in related fields.” ”The families who depend on those breadwinners are who I had in mind when I worked on this legislation.”
Today over forty U.S. states, New York City, and Canada, among others, offer substantial financial incentives to the film industry in an attempt to lure production and post-production jobs and spending away from California. Thus, the California program specifically targets productions that are the most likely to leave the state due to incentives being offered in other states and countries.
Business leaders praised the legislation. ”The Chamber applauds the Governor for signing AB 2026. Putting people back to work is the most important thing we can do on the road to economic recovery. Production projects that qualify for this tax credit will generate millions of dollars in wages and production expenditures, while helping to keep and create thousands of jobs for California residents,” said Gary Toebben, President of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
“It is important that we make California competitive with other states in all industries,” said Gatto. ”Film and television production are crucial to this area and to my constituents and neighbors. This legislation is for them.”