California film tax credit extension moves forward in Legislature
The California Senate on Tuesday approved a two-year extension of tax credits for the film and television industry, providing $100 million annually through July 2017.
"The film and television industry is critically important to the economic vitality of the Los Angeles area," said Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). "This is an economic engine. It's critically important that we send the right signal."
The tax credit, which will expire in 2015 if the bill approved Tuesday does not become law, was created because of concern about "runaway" film and TV productions that go to other states, many of which have lower costs and offer their own tax credits.
The measure, approved on a 32-3 vote and sent to the Assembly, was opposed by some senators from both parties, including Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo).
He said the state needs a "major overhaul of our tax system" that affects all industries instead of handing out credits "to a few favored industries that are politically connected.''
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Workers for the FX show "Sons of Anarchy" set up for a location shoot in Simi Valley last year. An extension of tax credits approved by the California Senate may help keep the show in Southern California. Credit: Anne Cusack/ Los Angeles Times