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On location: California film tax credit program has generated $2.2 billion in spending, state says

March 18, 2011 |  5:40 pm

Lincoln 
California's film tax breaks haven't put the brakes on runaway production, but they've slowed the race to out-of-state filming locations.

That was the message California Film Commission Executive Director Amy Lemisch and others delivered Friday at an Assembly hearing held to evaluate the effectiveness of the state's film tax credit program, which took effect in July 2009.

The program, which offers a 20% to 25% tax credit on film and TV productions, has so far allocated $300 million in tax credits to 113 film and TV projects, generating 41,000 jobs and $2.2 billion in spending, including $728 million paid in wages to below-the-line film crews, according to the California Film Commission, which administers the tax credit program.

Lemisch was joined by various union leaders, business owners and film producers who praised the film incentive, which is funded through fiscal 2014. Supporters have been eager to demonstrate that the program is working, even though there doesn't appear to be a move afoot by California politicians to scrap it.

"This expenditure of limited tax dollars has brought back billions to the California economy and the public needs to know it," said Assembly member Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada-Flintridge), who held the hearing at Pasadena City Hall and has co-authored a bill to extend the film tax credits.

More on this in Tuesday's On Location feature.

-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Marisa Tomei, left, and Matthew McConaughey are shown in a scene from "The Lincoln Lawyer." Credit: (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Saeed Adyani)
 

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