IATSE, L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel Urge Governor to Sign Tax-Credit Extension

Gov. Brown hasn't indicated where he stands on the legislation, which would extend California's TV and film production tax credits through 2017

IATSE Local 80 President Thom Davis and L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel have sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to sign an extension of California's film and tax credit laws.

Two nearly identical measures, AB 2026 from Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and SB 1197 from state Sen. Ron Calderon, were sent to the governor's desk on Aug. 31, the final day of the legislative session. They would extend the California Film Commission’s requirement to allocate tax credits through and including the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Brown signed a one-year extension last year, but his approval isn’t a given this time. 

“The production industry is an integral part of our local and state economy,” said Greuel in the letter sent on Wednesday. “By extending these credits, productions can be planned further in advance, knowing that credits will be available for the entire run of a production.”

A recent study by the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation concluded that during its first two years, the film tax-credit program generated more than $3.8 billion in economic output, supported over 20,000 jobs in California and will return $200 million to state and local governments.

Also read: It's D-Day for California TV, Film Tax Credits: But How Essential Are They?

“The State of California needs as much assistance as possible to grow the economy and create jobs,” said Davis. “We need to use proven programs that have demonstrated value in keeping production here in California.”

While the governor counts Hollywood and the labor unions that back the bill among his supporters, he’s also concerned about maintaining a hard line on budget expenses while the state is furloughing workers and cutting services.

In addition to IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, the Directors Guild, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, Teamsters Local 399, Professional Musicians Local 47 and the Recording Musicians Association are all supporters.

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