Film Calif. First budgeted

Gov plans to restructure funds to improve performance

California Gov. Gray Davis has agreed to keep supporting the state’s anti-runaway production incentive program for another year with $10 million in funding.

Davis included the Film California First funds Thursday in announcing the state’s 2002-03 budget, which totaled $100 billion and proposed cuts of $2.7 billion. He plans to propose a restructuring to improve the program’s performance as an economic stimulus, including:

  • Increase overall reimbursement caps for all public properties from $500 to $1,500. Increased rebates will be given this way: film permit fee, from $500 to $1,000; public location fees, from $500 to $1,500; and public equipment, from $250 to $500.

  • Allow reimbursements for multiple film shoots by the same production company on the same day and expand single day/per public agency reimbursement.

  • Reimburse fire department spot-check and public notification fees for filming on public property.

The program was created in 2000, when Davis tapped the state’s surplus and initiated a three-year, $45 million program to subsidize production costs through rebates to producers to cover costs of state and federal employees, property use fees, safety costs and public equipment fees.

Davis and the state Legislature agreed a year ago, amid budget pressures, to reduce funding in the current fiscal year to $10 million.

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