Last week California began accepting applications for the first round of the new film and TV tax credit, which policy makers in Sacramento had beefed up to try and lure film production back to the state. The legislature passed a five-year, $1.65 billion film tax incentive program last year, and with the revamped tax credit program up and running, many entertainment workers throughout California are feeling something not felt in a long time: Hope. For the first time in 15 years, the program feels better equipped to keep our suffering entertainment industry from flatlining and to revive the iconic “Hollywood brand” to its former greatness.
However, not everyone has cause to celebrate. Thousands of California’s post-production workers, including recording musicians, are still shortchanged by the tax credit program,
In The Hunger Games, the rich and politically powerful rulers of the capital city Panem force young people from 12 districts to fight against each other. The Games serve the interests of the ruling elite by ensuring a quiescent populace remains that way, while 23 of the 24 young combatants are meant to wind up dead.
Good dystopian sci-fi holds up a mirror to reality, sometimes despite itself. It is unlikely that either trilogy author Suzanne Collins or Lionsgate – the producer and distributor of the film series – had Hollywood in mind, but the films provide an excellent description of the economics of today’s movie industry, as states compete with each other to give away ever more taxpayer dollars in exchange for jobs that, in some cases at least, they don’t even get.
As a new LAANE report details, every year approximately 40 U.S.
California Tax Breaks — What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Amid continued squabbling over whether to boost the California film and television production tax incentive program, the state legislature just handed aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp. a whopping $420-million tax break.
Yes, you read that right: A bill creating a 15-year sweetheart deal — for a single private company — sails through the Assembly and Senate without a hitch, yet the fate of Assembly Bill 1839, which would enhance California’s existing entertainment tax credit program and generate millions in additional revenue, continues to face opposition in Sacramento.
What’s wrong with this picture?
It should be a no-brainer that, in order to remain competitive in the global market for film and television production and post-production work, California needs to boost its incentive program. Once the epicenter for entertainment production, California no longer assumes this leadership position.