Applications for California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program have surged by more than 30% to 497 for the 2014-15 fiscal year.
The five-year-old program has selected 23 projects for a tax credit allocation — down from 34 last year, which included including the “Entourage” film, “Teen Wolf” and “Pretty Little Liars” — with the remaining 474 projects placed on a waiting list for a total of $100 million in tax credits.
Variety reported last week that the California film Commission has decided to wait until July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, to reveal the recipients in order to make certain that their qualifications are in order.
“This year’s dramatic growth in the number of applications reaffirms that California is the preferred choice for projects of all types and sizes,” said California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch. “The industry wants to base productions in California, but incentives now drive those decisions.”
The program is far smaller and less lucrative than in competing states such as Georgia, Louisiana and New York. It attracted 67 applications in 2009, followed by 70 in 2010, 176 in 2011, 322 in 2012 and 380 last year.
Projects selected must start production within 180 days or forfeit the credit, which is then allocated to projects drawn from a waiting list.
The program is aimed at retaining film and TV production in California. It is funded through the 2015-16 fiscal year with $100 million in tax credits annually.
An expansion of California’s credit program overwhelming passed the state Assembly on Wednesday, with legislation that would allow big-budget features and most one-hour TV shows to be eligible for incentives. The legislation, AB1839, passed 76-0 with the authors yet to determine how much the state will allocate each year for the incentive program.