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Legislative Update: Proposed CA Film & TV Tax Credit Extension (AB1069)

By: Adrian | July 15, 2011

Update 7/6/2011: AB 1069 passed the Senate committee today by a unanimous vote of 9-0 and will now head to the appropriations committee! Letters are more important now than ever. Contact information for the California State Senators on the Appropriations Committee in the Southland has been added to the list below.

The California State Legislature is currently looking at ways to address the problem of runaway film and television production to other states and nations. One piece of legislation, AB1069, is currently pending in the California State Senate after it was overwhelmingly endorsed by the State Assembly by a vote of 72-1 in favor.

AB1069 would extend the life of California's existing Film and Television Tax Credit by funding the program at $100m/year for another five years. If you would like to educate yourself about AB1069 and the California Film and Television Tax Credit, a good place to start is the following "white paper" prepared for the legislature: White Paper: California Film Incentive.

But let's say you already know something about AB1069 and want to share your thoughts about it with your elected representatives. On July 6th, AB1069 was considered for the first time by the California State Senate Governance and Finance Committee, where it passed 9-0. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Taking Action: Contacting Your Elected Officials
The film and television industry are California's economic backbone and an integral part of the state's cultural identity, from San Diego to Eureka and everything in between. Sadly, this crucial industry is often overlooked, taken for granted or ignored. Many Californians do not even know that runaway production exists, much less the negative effect it has on our communities.

At the end of this post is a list of the California State Senators who represent Southland districts in which many entertainment industry workers and their families reside. If you would like to contact these officials or an elected official at any level of government, please be aware that research has shown that thoughtful phone calls and individually-crafted letters are far more effective ways to get your ideas heard than than fax or email forwards.

But above all else, when you use a letter, make it personal. Tell them why the film and television industry is important to you and your family. Once you demonstrate why this issue is important to you personally, you can then choose to add information from one or more of these collections of Film Works-prepared facts:

1. Runaway Production Happens and Causes Real Damage to California:

Not everyone is aware runaway production is real and has serious negative impacts. You can help educate them. Include some facts and figures showing runaway production is very real threat to California. Two examples include the following:

•In 2003, over 66 percent of studio feature films shot in California. In 2010, that number had dropped to less than 40 percent, according to the California Film Commission.
•In the last 15 years, the number of on-location shooting days for feature films in the Los Angeles area dropped nearly 65 percent, according to FilmL.A.
•According to the Milken Institute, since Canada enacted the first tax credit program in 1997, now copied in roughly 40 states and dozens of nations, California has lost 36,000 entertainment industry jobs.
For more statistics and information about the damage caused by runaway production, the following Film Works articles may be helpful:

2. The California Film and Television Industry is Vital to California's Economy:

Another paragraph in your letter could highlight the economic importance of the film and television industry to California. Some examples that underscore this importance include:

•The economic output of the entertainment industry in California was $62.8 billion in 2009 alone, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).
•There are more than 6,600 business establishments in California that service the film and television industry, which is triple the roughly 2,000 Starbucks locations in the state. Most of these establishments are small businesses with fewer than 10 employees each.
•Statewide, well over 200,000 Californians are directly employed by the film and television industry. Each of these direct jobs create an additional 2.7 indirect jobs outside the industry.
•In 2009, California industry workers earned a whopping $23.2 billion in wages, much of which went on to find its way back into the state's economy.
For more statistics and information about the importance of California's film and television industry, the following links may be helpful:

3. The California Film & Television Tax Credit Works:

Were it not for the California Film & Television Tax Credit, 2010 would have been the worst year on record for feature film location shooting in the Los Angeles area. Some examples of the benefits of California's film incentive include:

•In just three short years, the CA film incentive created more than 40,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
•Almost $1 billion in wages has been paid to Californians working on incentivized productions.
•The economic impact from the direct spending by incentivized projects approaches $3 billion statewide.
For more statistics and information about the importance of California's film and television industry, the following links may be helpful:

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