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Lawmakers Gatto, DeLeon Target Film Production Tax Credits in California

View of the Hollywood sign after Califor

Kevin de León

Senator Kevin de León (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Brian Hews 

In recent years, California has seen a dramatic decrease in television and film productions being shot in the “Entertainment Capitol of the World.”

On Friday, Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Senator Kevin de León announced that they will introduce a comprehensive film-and television-production tax credit and “other related policies” during next year’s 2014 legislative session.

Gatto and De León both represent Los Angeles area districts that houses key entertainment production companies and studios and both chair the powerful Appropriations Committee’s in the Assembly and State Senate in Sacramento.

In a statement to members of the media, the two lawmakers said they have been “meeting tirelessly with all affected parties, to try to determine how to improve California’s policies” regarding tax credits for entertainment production businesses.

“Given the vulnerable state of our economy we can’t afford to hemorrhage any more good paying jobs,” said De Leόn.

“First thing in 2014, we need to extend the film tax credit and improve it to maximize job retention and bolster this home-grown industry. I look forward to partnering with Assemblyman Gatto on this effort,” De Leon continued.

Film and television production jobs are especially important in Gatto’s district, which includes the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Hollywood, communities that are home to numerous film and television studios and post-production facilities, including world-renowned studios DreamWorks, Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros.

The vitality of the California entertainment industry determines the livelihood for thousands of workers in the industry who live in Gatto’s and De León’s districts.  Both Gatto and De León are close with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has made revamping the tax credit a major policy push.

“I remember when our communities lost all the good aerospace jobs,” said Gatto.  “Losing major employers really harms the local economy, so we must do everything possible to make sure that good jobs stay right here.”  Gatto is the California State Assembly’s representative on the California Film Commission.  The Commission offers production and location assistance, and administers the tax credit.

In the last several months, Gatto and De León have focused their meetings with “below-the-line” workers and local small production professionals affected by the flight of investment.

Gatto’s staff has also been collecting think-tank reports and all studies available, to evaluate what works best in the current credit and what needs to be improved to maximize its effectiveness.

Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper will be following the progress of the legislation when the new session convenes in Sacramento.

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  • steve smith says:

    Great, tax exemptions for the ultra wealthy entertainment workers, that way they can keep working in CA and advocating suicidal economic policies for everybody else, and still afford to do business here while every other business eats dirt, thanks a lot!
    The USSR could have used legislators like these clowns.

  • steve smith says:

    Hey Gatto, aerospace went away because it takes electricity to make airplanes, electricity is the single biggest expense in aircraft part manufacture.

    When you make CA electricity cost more CA loses jobs.