The California Assembly voted unanimously Wednesday to approve extending for five years the film and television tax credit program to keep production in the state.
The bill, sponsored by San Fernando Valley area Assemblymen Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, now moves to the Senate.
The state’s production tax credit program began in 2009 as a response to television and feature films leaving California. The program is administered by the California Film Commission and is funded for $100 million annually.
The bill approved this week would continue the tax credit program through the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and open the program to feature films of any budget size, television pilots and new hour-long series regardless if they are on broadcast TV, cable or the Internet. It also would increase to 25 percent, from 20 percent, credits to productions filming outside the 30-mile zone centered in Los Angeles.
“This expanded and improved program will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programs,” Bocanegra said in a prepared statement.
The vote came four weeks after the Legislative Analyst’s Office issued a report that while the tax credit program does not pay for itself, not extending it could mean the state would lose its leadership role in the entertainment industry.