In his remarks, Brown talked of the importance of entertainment and the state’s revival, but he did not raise an issue that is expected to be a centerpiece of showbiz lobbying next year in Sacramento: Boosting the state’s tax incentive program.
According to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Brown “still needs to be convinced” of the need to expand the state incentive program. Advocates say that the current $100-million-per year allocation is not enough to compete with other states. In fact, in a meeting with investors on the Sony lot on Thursday, studio executives touted their ability to save as much as $100-million-per year in costs by locating production in states and countries with incentive programs.
There are restrictions on the extent to which pending legislation can be discussed at a fundraiser. State law prohibits donors from asking for a policy action in exchange for a contribution — although there are loopholes.
Co-chairs of the event were the MPAA’s Chris Dodd, David Geffen, Fox’s Jim Gianopulos, Paramount’s Brad Grey, DreamWorks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Sony’s Michael Lynton, Warner Bros.’ Barry Meyer, Universal’s Ron Meyer, Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara.
Tickets for the event started at $5,000 per person, with sponsors at $27,200 and co-chairs at $54,400.