Brian Nguyen / bnguyen@sacbee.com

Actor Carl Weathers, backed by a line of California lawmakers, speaks to the crowd in support of AB 1839 on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 in Sacramento Calif.

Jerry Brown announces film tax credit deal

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he has reached a deal with legislative leaders to more than triple California’s 5-year-old film and television tax credit, amid intense lobbying from the state’s TV and movie industry.

The agreement would expand to $330 million annually the state’s existing $100 million tax credit. Assembly Bill 1839, which had been working its way through the Legislature, would have expanded the tax credit to $400 million.

Brown’s office tweeted a photograph of the Democratic governor meeting with lawmakers, and Brown said in a prepared statement, “This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work.”

Labor unions and lawmakers promoting the film tax credit said it could bring back to California productions that have left the state for more lucrative tax incentives elsewhere. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, said in a prepared statement that the agreement is “just common sense – when California hosts more production, we get more jobs and more revenue – two things our state can always use.”

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has cautioned against a “race to the bottom” with other states in film tax credits. In an April report, the analyst found no “conclusive evidence” California’s credit will reverse production losses.

The film tax credit expansion is one of several tax breaks interest groups have been promoting in the final days of the legislative session.

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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