IT’S A WRAP! CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS THREEFOLD INCREASE IN INCENTIVE BUDGET INTO LAW

It’s official. California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program will expand from a $100 million annual cap to $330 million, thanks to a bill signed into law today by Governor Jerry Brown. Also on hand for the Hollywood ceremony were union leaders, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Film Commission Director Amy Lemisch. The governor, who worked out the compromise expansion with state assembly and senate leaders, praised the job creation aspect of the upgrade.

“This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work,” said Brown.

The agreement increases the tax credit to $330 million a year for five years beginning with fiscal year 2015-16, replacing the much-maligned lottery system currently in place. In addition to increasing funding for the tax credit, the bill expands eligibility to big budget features, 1 hour TV series and pilots. Additional incentives will be put in place to reward shooting outside the Los Angeles 30-mile zone, as well as for keeping visual effects and scoring in the state.

“Not only does extending the Film Tax Credit keep cameras rolling in California, it will keep costumers designing, craft services catering, and carpenters hammering. It’s just common sense – when California hosts more production, we get more jobs and more revenue – two things our state can always use,” said Assembly Speaker Tony Atkins when the deal was first struck with the governor.

Under the expanded program, in place of the lottery system applicants will instead be ranked according to net new jobs created, as well as overall positive economic impacts for the state.

The legislation, AB 1839, was authored by Assembly members Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul J. Bocanegra (D-Los Angeles).

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