California’s expanded film and television tax credit has attracted 12 out-of-state television series to relocate to California, generating $891 million in direct state spending, the California Film Commission reported September 25.
“They moved their operations from across North America – Canada, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Texas,” the commission wrote. “It is worthwhile to note the substantial economic value of luring a television series to relocate to California, which typically generate longer-term employment compared to feature film projects.”
In addition to TV series, the tax credit has attracted feature film productions. All totaled, in two years with the expanded film credit, California has attracted or retained 100 film and TV projects that generated an estimated $3.7 billion in direct spending to the state, including $1.4 billion in “below-the-line” wages for workers who aren’t actors, directors, producers, etc.
The report includes data from a full fiscal year (July 2016 through June 2017) of funding, at $330 million in available tax credits. A much lower amount, $230 million, was offered the previous year.
Evidence of the credit’s importance was found by examining the productions that were denied the tax credit due to insufficient availability of the capped credit. “Of the projects that were denied California tax credits and were subsequently produced, only a small number elected to shoot in California,” the commission stated. “The overwhelming majority of products denied credits were shot outside the state, in jurisdictions where tax credits were available. From July 2010 to June 2017, such ‘runaway’ projects accounted for more than $3.8 billion in production spending outside California.” (Source: The California Film Commission, “Film and Television Programs Progress Report,” September 25.)
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