California’s $330M Annual Film & TV Tax Credits Bill Placed On Hold

Business

A California Senate bill extending the $330 million annual film and TV tax credit until 2030 was today placed in the inactive file for this legislative session at the request of its lead author, Senator Anthony Portantino (D- Burbank).

Just last week, new provisions were added to Senate Bill 485 (read the legislation here) making it very clear that productions need to widen their demographic aperture if they want to be eligible for big-bucks incentives from the Golden State. In other words, the message is: increase diversity.

The bill will now be considered in 2023, which is plenty of time given that the current California Film and Television Production Tax Credit Program is not set to sunset until June 30, 2025.

Motion Picture Association Senior Vice President of State Government Affairs Kathy Bañuelos issued the following statement about the delay:

The Motion Picture Association thanks Governor Newson, Senator Portantino, Assemblymember Carrillo, and all the champions of the film, television, and streaming industry in the legislature, as well as our labor partners, for their continued support of the Film and Television Tax Credit Program. We look forward to continued collaboration on an extension that will build on the wildly successful production credit program, which has created over 110,000 jobs and over $21.9 billion in economic output in the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom also weighed in:

The film tax credit has been hugely successful. Just this week we had four new big budget films and 14 independent films receive tax credits for filming in California that will generate hundreds of millions in spending and thousands of jobs across the state. I thank Senator Portantino and [coauthor] Assemblymember Carrillo for highlighting the program through SB 485, and I am committed to working with the Legislature and stakeholders next year on extending and strengthening this program which helps drive the state’s economy and support California’s iconic film industry.

Senator Portantino remained optimistic given what he described as close collaboration between “the Governor’s Office, the Department of Finance, my legislative colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly, and industry and labor partners.”

Portantino continued in a statement:

I am grateful to Governor Newsom for his incredible leadership of the Film and Television Tax Credit Program and his strong commitment to extend the credit an additional five years to 2030. This is a significant development and makes clear that the State of California will continue to support this important, historic, and economically powerful industry. Given the Governor’s commitment, it does not seem pressing to push SB 485 through right now, while there is still time to thoughtfully act before 2025.

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