A bill to expand and extend California’s TV and film production tax credit program passed a hurdle in the State Assembly Tuesday.
AB 1839, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014, cleared the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee by a vote of 7-0.
The legislation, authored by Assembly members Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), would expand and improve the state’s current program to keep production jobs in California.
“We can’t sit by and watch a $17 billion a year sector of our economy leave California,” said Assemblyman Bocanegra. “This expanded and improved program will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programs.”
California’s film and television industry has faced increasing competition in recent years from subsidies by other states and countries. Since its creation in 2009, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act prevented as many as 51,000 well-paying jobs from leaving the state, and helped generate $4.5 billion in economic activity, Bocanegra’s office said.
Despite the program’s success, figures from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from 2004-2012, California lost more than 16,000 film- and television-industry jobs, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in lost wages and economic activity.