Governor Gavin Newsom is hoping to ramp up production in Los Angeles with new film and TV tax credits for the state of California. On Friday, he announced that he's adding $30 million to the coffers to lure out-of-state shows and movies back to Hollywood to help create a post-pandemic entertainment boom.
Over the years, Georgia, Louisiana and Canada have become major production hubs as California watched many TV shows and films choose tax incentives over the skyrocketing costs of doing business in the Golden State. “This is an opportunity for those productions, TV and others, in places like Georgia, whose values don’t necessarily always align with the production crews to consider coming back to the state of California,” said Newsom, who is hoping that Georgia's controversial voting law and California's new incentives will be enough for studios to make the move. “And that’s what that $30 million intends to do.”
The money is coming from the $75 billion budget surplus and is a part of the $100 billion “California Roars Back" program, which is to help the state and its constituents bounce back after the pandemic. It's also important to note that the Governor is working hard to regain voters' confidence while facing a recall. The additional funds will become a part of the current $330 million California Film Commission tax credit program, so it creates an almost 10 percent boost to the budget.
Newsom isn't the only one leaning into Georgia's voting controversy, Dee Dee Myers, Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development, which includes the California Film Commission, also had something to say during Friday's press conference about the Peach State. “The governor is excited to provide additional support to the entertainment industry, which is a pillar of California’s economy and has been hard-hit during the pandemic,” said Myers. “And as the governor said, if there’s a production out there that feels another state’s values don’t align with theirs, California would be delighted to welcome them back!”
The program, which was introduced and signed into law by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2014, has seen quite a bit of success over the last seven years. Most recently, HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant announced that they are relocating from New York to California for the second season, and TBS’ Chad is coming back to Hollywood after filming season one in Vancouver, Canada. Both shows were awarded funds from the program as a part of its relocation services.
California State Senator Toni G. Atkins is pleased with the Governor's "smart investment" because she believes it will help many support industries in the state. "This doesn't just aid studios, it helps the small businesses that provide food, flowers, and a whole lot more to TV and movie shoots," she said in a press release.
California Film Commission's executive director Colleen Bell agrees that the film industry is "a big part of the California dream" and it's "an important part of our legacy and our state." That's why she's been pushing so hard for production levels to return to the state since she took the position in 2019. "Everybody wants a part of entertainment production, jurisdictions here in the United States and also internationally," Bell told ABC7 in April. "But California continues to improve our competitiveness. We've got the most diverse landscapes and topography, locations, experienced crews, and our tax credit program is really working as intended to deliver value for business and taxpayers."
The Governor's step today will continue to help make Bell's dream an even bigger reality. "We are the entertainment capital of the world," she summed up. "We still hold that title, and this is going to continue to be our legacy here in the Golden State."
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