Film Tax Credit Bills Pass Legislative Policy Committees

Four California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bills passed Assembly and Senate policy committees this week.

All four bills extend for another five years California’s current tax credit for motion picture and television production, currently scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2020.

AB 1734 (Calderon; D-Whittier) and AB 2936 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) won unanimous approval from the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee on April 17.

SB 832 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge) and SB 951 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles) won approval from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on April 18, 5-1.

Extending the sunset date will continue the success of the tax credit, which has brought more film and television production jobs to this state and has increased business to California.

In 2014, the California Legislature enacted an expanded motion picture and television production tax credit program, referred to as Film Tax Credit 2.0.

Because of this program, according to the California Film Commission, 137 television and feature film projects located their productions in California. In the first three years of the program, those projects are estimated to have spent an aggregate of $5.1 billion in the state—on wages to the skilled professionals who create these movies and television programs, and on payments to the California businesses that supply productions with goods and services.

Moreover, 13 television series that previously filmed outside of California have relocated to the state, and seven large-budget films, a genre that had been all but lost to California, are being filmed here.

In its letter supporting the film credit bills, the CalChamber pointed out that planning for both motion picture and television productions typically occurs several years in advance, and productions rely on the certainty that the incentive will be available as location decisions are being made. Therefore the bills are seeking the extension of the credit this year, the third year of the current program.

Key Vote

• Voting for AB 1734 and AB 2936 in Assembly Arts on April 17 were:

Ayes: Acosta (R-Santa Clarita), Chiu (D-San Francisco), Chu (D-San Jose), Friedman (D-Glendale), Medina (D-Riverside), Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks), Waldron (R-Escondido)

The bills will be considered next by the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee.

• SB 832 and SB 951 passed Senate Governance and Finance on votes of 5-1:

Ayes: Beall (D-San Jose), Hernandez (D-West Covina), Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Lara (D-Bell Gardens), McGuire (D-Healdsburg).

No: Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

No vote recorded: Nguyen (R-Garden Grove),

The bills will be considered next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Staff Contact: Sarah Boot

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Sarah R. Boot served as a CalChamber policy advocate from March 2018 to December 2019. She specialized in privacy/technology, telecommunications, economic development, and taxation issues. Before joining CalChamber, Boot was a top adviser to now-Senate President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, serving as the senator’s legislative director and as lead staffer on legal, privacy, telecommunications, business, and technology issues, among many others. Boot also was principal consultant to Atkins during her time as Assembly Speaker and Speaker Emeritus. For three years, Boot was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of California. She prosecuted a broad array of federal crimes, including bank robbery, sex trafficking of minors, and narcotics trafficking. In private practice, Boot spent three years litigating complex civil and intellectual property litigation, primarily representing Internet and technology companies. Boot earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. She graduated from the University of Michigan with an honors degree in political science and a minor in Spanish