California Finally Considering Movie And TV Tax Credits


An interesting addition to yesterday’s news that New York’s tax incentive fund has run out of money is that California is finally seriously considering adopting movie and TV credits as part of the state’s new budget. Hollywood had long lacked such provisions—and resisted adopting them—causing TV shows and films to decamp to New York, Canada and other locales, where production was cheaper because of local tax breaks.

So, does this mean that shows like Ugly Betty, which left LA for New York for the tax cuts, will soon be headed back West?

New York Times: In closed-door talks between state legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a state tax incentive for film production—long sought by film companies and unions, but avoided by politicians who are reluctant to be seen as underwriting a glamor business—has so far remained intact, according to people who have been briefed on the closed-door talks…

In its proposed form, a new California credit would refund 20 per cent of the money spent on “below-the-line” film and television work—thus it would not refund payments made to stars or directors.

Qualified expenditures would be capped at $75 million per production, and television shows that were already being shot in the state would be excluded. But new shows and those that had already fled—for instance, “Ugly Betty,” which is now shot in New York—would be credited for returning.

Welcome back, Ugly Betty! We’re sure they’ll be thrilled to move—again.

See Also: New York City Film And TV Production In Jeopardy