Seeking to boost prospects for expanding California’s production tax credit, mayors from 10 of the state’s largest cities announced their support for legislation to make the Golden State more competitive with dozens of other states that are luring production away.
Mayors from Sacramento, San Francisco, Fresno, Bakersfield, Oakland, San Jose joined with civic leaders from Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Ana and San Diego in an effort to show that support for an expanded credit extends beyond the state’s production centers in Southern California.
“This is an economic development program focused on the retention and creation of jobs and economic opportunity,” said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, in a statement. “Enhancing the current program will help build a strong state and local tax base, and it is a wise strategic investment in California’s future.”
A letter from the mayors was released in advance of an Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee hearing on Tuesday to consider legislation from Assemblymen Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra that would make big-budget motion pictures eligible for the credit as well as more categories of one-hour drama series and post production work.
Still to be announced is exactly how much money lawmakers will seek to expand the program, which is currently at $100 million per year. That figure is expected later this month as the legislation moves through the Assembly.
Late last month, the state’s legislative analyst released a report that acknowledged the need for the tax credit program and even its expansion, but expressed reservations about whether it represented good public policy and the extent to which the credits were recouped in the form of increased tax revenue to state coffers.