Tired of paying high workers’ compensation taxes, more than 70 California-based post-production facilities have united to begin actively lobbying state legislators and the Dept. of Insurance, seeking the creation of a new insurance category for their employees.Currently, in the eyes of the state, post-production companies are usually classified as either radio or television broadcast studios, or as film laboratories. Both of those classifications pay much higher workers’ comp tax rates because of the inherent health hazards within those fields of work. In fact, premiums for broadcast studios and film labs usually range from $ 1. 59 to $ 2.75 per $ 100 of gross payroll, much higher than businesses that fall into computer service categories, which pay 65 cents per $ 100. According to Ron Burdett, president of the Intl. Teleproduction Society, the trade org representing most of L.A.’s prominent post-production facilities, there currently is no accurate description of the type of business being operated in post-production. Most post-production involves videotape and sound editing. In response, the ITS/SC has drawn up its own recommendation for a new category to describe this industry niche, calling it “computerized teleproduction/post-production services.” “We’re hoping that the state will adopt this low-risk, low-exposure category and assess us accordingly,” Burdett noted. In its campaign, the ITS/SC will be contacting state legislators and will produce a series of TV ads designed to reveal what they perceive as inequities in the system.
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