California Production Tax Credit Bill Clears Another Assembly Committee

California State Capitol Tax Incentives
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Legislation to expand California’s tax incentives for film and TV production cleared another committee on Friday, as the state Assembly appropriations committee unanimously approved the bill.

The legislation now goes to the full Assembly for a floor vote.

Approval of the bill had been expected before the appropriations committee, as its chairman, Mike Gatto, co-authored the legislation along with Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra.

The bill would expand the state’s $100-million per year of incentives for production by making big budget movies eligible, along with more categories of one hour TV drama series.

Still to be determined is what amount supporters will see in annual tax credits, a key figure to make California more competitive with other states that offer more generous incentives. Supporters of the legislation have often cited New York’s tax credit, which provides about $420 million per year, but the challenge for the bill’s authors has been to propose an amount that can survive the legislative process.

The legislation would also provide a post production credit for projects that complete at least 75% of visual effects work in the state, as well as a credit for music scoring and music editing. An additional 5% credit will be available for projects that shoot outside the Los Angeles area, an effort to entice more support from Northern California lawmakers.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has not said whether he will support the expansion of the credit, which will take effect starting in 2016.