City Council Passes Incentive Plan to Keep Productions in L.A.

Includes parking aids, utility nodes in frequently used locations and taking steps toward implementing a business tax break for productions

Last Updated: March 26, 2009 @ 3:04 PM

Production tax incentives are slowly making their way to L.A.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved on Wednesday Council President Eric Garcetti’s package of proposals to keep more film and TV productions in the city.

 

Laying the groundwork for producers to take advantage of California’s $500 million production tax incentive, the plan calls for the city to assist producers with identifying parking and reducing parking costs, the installation of utility nodes in frequently used locations to eliminate the need for generators and taking the next steps toward implementing a business tax break for productions.

It also seeks to develop additional local incentives for productions that aren’t covered by California’s incentives — such as commericals. The state’s $500 million tax incentive is not specifically mentioned in the package because Garcetti’s report was written before that incentive passed.

 

As previously reported by TheWrap, Garcetti’s plan includes the appointment of a "film czar," an individual who would serve as a liaison between the city and the film industry, though there was no mention of that in the council’s proposals.

“Our office is talking with the mayor’s office about options for implementing that position,” Garcetti spokesperson Julie Wong said, adding that no candidates to be the “czar,” qualifications or salary has been discussed.

Garcetti first submitted his recommendations after the ABC primetime series "Ugly Betty" moved production from L.A. to New York, noting analysis by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation that said a one-hour television program generates more than 180 direct jobs and supports 540 indirect jobs as well as generates $2.2 million in state income taxes and $880,000 in state sales taxes.

“The entertainment industry is a key economic driver for Los Angeles, and we need to do what we can to keep production where it belongs — in the entertainment capital of the world," Garcetti said. "This study quantifies what we have always known to be true — runaway production means fewer middle class jobs for Angelenos and hurts our economy. Today we move forward with providing real incentives to keep filming here and to address barriers to production like the need for better access to parking and utilities.”

The recommendations in the report now will go to the appropriate City Council Committee or City Agency for implementation.