California Film, TV Tax Credit Bill Clears State Senate

The measure extends a program providing $100 million in tax credits for TV and film production for two years. The state Assembly passed a similar bill last week

The state Senate on Tuesday approved by a 32-3 vote a bill extending California's film and tax credit program for another two years.

The measure, SB 1167, was authored by Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Los Angeles), and provides $100 million in annual tax credits for productions. It now heads to the Assembly for a vote.

The state Assembly last week approved a separate but virtually identical bill, authored by Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles), which is likely to be taken up by a Senate panel Wednesday.

Either of the two bills could wind up on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.

Also read: Guilds Applaud as California Tax Credit Extension Clears Assembly

Brown, who approved a one-year extension of the program last year, has not indicated whether he will sign the legislation, designed to help stem the tide of film and TV productions leaving the state for other regions.

The three-year-old program is strongly backed by Hollywood. 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.

A coalition of unions, guilds and associations representing workers in the TV and film industry issued a release Tuesday applauding the state Senate's action.

"We thank Senator Calderon for his leadership and we look forward to the extension’s continued progress through the California Legislature over the coming weeks," the statement said.

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.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the original bill into law in 2009.