Capitol Alert

California lawmakers, actors press for film tax credit

Thirty-five members of California’s congressional delegation are pressing Gov. Jerry Brown to support an expanded film tax credit significant to California’s TV and movie industry, while actors and crew members rallied in support of the measure at the Capitol on Wednesday.

In a letter dated last week and released by U.S. Rep Judy Chu’s office on Tuesday, Chu and the other lawmakers lamented the loss in recent years of “tens of thousands of middle class jobs and significant revenue to other states that have more attractive tax incentive programs.”

Assembly Bill 1839, which is now working its way through the Legislature, would expand to $400 million annually a $100 million tax credit program for film and TV production.

Flanked by labor leaders and lawmakers on the north steps of the Capitol, actor Carl Weathers, of “Rocky” fame, called the current circumstances “so disheartening.” He said an expanded credit would “bring back larger productions – film and television – that are now totally absent from the California landscape.”

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office cautioned earlier this year against a “race to the bottom” with other states in film tax credits, and it found no “conclusive evidence” California’s credit will reverse production losses to other states.