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Guilds Applaud as California Tax Credit Extension Clears Assembly

The bill, which extends for 2 years a $100 million TV and film production tax credits program, now heads for the California state Senate

The state Assembly on Thursday approved a two-year extension for California's tax credit production incentive program on a 70-4 vote.

The legislation, which provides $100 million in annual tax credits for productions, now moves on to the state Senate and likely will be taken up in committee next week.

The three-year-old program is strongly backed by the film business as a means of encouraging producers to remain California. According to a 2011 report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, the tax credit program led to an infusion of $3.8 billion into California's economy as well as the creation of 20,000 jobs.

Also read: Chris Dodd, Piracy & Tax Credits: The State of Hollywood Influence

A coalition of Hollywood unions and guilds applauded the bill’s approval, and issued a statement Thursday, which read in part:

“Without the extension, the State of California will have no chance of competing with more than 40 states and many foreign countries that offer generous incentive programs to retain and attract qualified motion pictures and television programs, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of middle class jobs and all the ancillary economic benefits that a thriving entertainment industry brings to the economy.”

SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, Teamsters Local 399, the International Alliance of theatrical Stage Employees, Professional Musicians Local 47 and the Recording Musicians Association were signees

The legislation originally called for a five-year extension, but that was amended by lawmakers wary of the state’s shaky economic footing.