Hollywood Guilds Praise Newsom, Lawmakers for Expansion of California Film Tax Credits

Bill signed by Gov. Newsom adds $330 million to state’s incentives for film and TV production

Gavin Newsom
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Hollywood’s unions praised Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators on Wednesday as Senate Bill 144, a $330 million expansion of California’s film and television tax credit program, was signed into law.

“SB 144 enhances and improves the California Film and Television Tax Credit Program which since its inception has resulted in the creation of 156,000 below-the-line cast and crew jobs and has generated $18.4 billion in direct revenue for our State,” the Entertainment Union Coalition said in a statement. “SB 144 ensures that our members can remain working in California and that more productions will be able to shoot here for decades to come.”

The expansion increases the funds on offer for productions shooting in California to $660 million over the next two years. $150 million of that will go to productions that shoot on newly built soundstages in Los Angeles County as the state looks to take advantage of an expected boom in projects for streaming services by expanding its film infrastructure. The soundstage fund will also provide an additional tax incentive for productions that film in these soundstages and meet certain diversity goals.

“Today’s investments ensure film and television production will continue to fuel the California comeback through thousands of good jobs right here in the Golden State, training opportunities to increase access, and a focus on fostering diversity and inclusion for a workforce that better reflects our vibrant communities,” Newsom said as he signed the expansion into law.  

The bill, which was authored by Glendale-based State Sen. Anthony Portantino, also includes a $90 million fund to pull productions from other states, a strategy that Georgia was able to use to its advantage last year when it ended its COVID-19 filming shutdown three months earlier than Hollywood. The bill was passed through both chambers of the legislature with no votes against it.

The increase was made possible thanks to a $75 billion surplus in California’s budget. Newsom, who is facing a recall election in September, has pushed for the state to use the surplus for increased spending on a variety of issues including affordable housing and rent forgiveness.


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