Danny Glover Heads San Francisco Rally for Sweetened State Film-TV Credits

Danny Glover is leading a Saturday rally to support improving California’s film-TV tax credit at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel.

The 10 a.m. rally — a first for Northern California — will also include appearances by The Meehan Bros. from “Last Comic Standing”; San Francisco Film Commission exec director Susannah Greason Robbins, assembly members Marc Levine and Rob Bonta; San Francisco supervisors David Chiu and Mark Farrell; Teamsters VP Rome Aloise;  IATSE Local 16 VP Eddie Raymond and Fairmont Hotels VP Thomas Klein.

The campaign is aimed at pressuring state legislators to sweeten the current program, which is capped at $100 million a year and 20% of production costs — smaller than rival incentive programs in Georgia, Louisiana and New York.

“Nearly 40 other states and 30 other nations offered nearly $1.5 billion in tax incentives last year to lure jobs and wages out of California, and the percentage of films made in California has gone from 66% to 40% in just a few years,” a flyer for the event said.

The event is also aimed at showing that improving the incentive program has strong support outside Los Angeles.

A March rally by show business vendors in the San Fernando Valley drew more than 600 attendees, and a February event organized by Hollywood below-the-line unions attracted more than 1,000.

Assembly Bill 1839, aimed at overhauling the current incentive program and attracting bigger movies and TV series, is being promoted as essential to keeping productions from being lured out of state. The legislation cleared the State Assembly by a 76-0 vote on May 28.

The bill’s authors have not yet attached a specific dollar figure to the legislation.

Supporters believe that the legislation, which would go into effect in 2016, should wind up clearing the State Senate in August or September.

The California Film Commission, which administers the tax credit program, held its lottery to choose recipients for the 2014-15 fiscal year on June 2. Demand far exceeds supply, with 23 productions selected out of 497 that were submitted.

The bill, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act, would renew California’s tax incentives so it runs an additional five years, through the 2021-22 fiscal year. The legislation has 59 co-authors.

The legislation would lift a $75 million budget cap on productions that are eligible for the credit.

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