Gavin Newsom Announces $30 Million Boost in State Film Credit Program

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Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that his budget proposal will add $30 million to the state’s film and TV tax incentive program this year, as the state doles out a $75 billion surplus.

The $30 million is on top of the $330 million that the state provides annually to subsidize TV and film productions. The extra funds — which still must be approved by the Legislature — would be earmarked specifically for TV projects that are relocating to California from other states or from overseas.

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“This is an opportunity for all of those productions, TV and others, in places like Georgia whose values don’t necessarily always align with the production crews, to consider coming back to the state of California,” Newsom said at a press conference Friday.

The allocation is identified as a one-time only increase for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Newsom noted that the surplus is “not the new norm,” suggesting that many of the increases in his budget proposal will not become permanent.

“Governor Newsom’s announcement to expand the film and TV tax credit program is great news for California,” said Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission. “The additional $30 million in funding will be allocated to relocating TV series, which bring long-term, high-wage jobs and significant production spending to our state. To date, our tax credit program has welcomed 23 relocating series from other states and countries. The additional funding will enable us to grow that positive impact.”

The state currently allocates $66 million a year to relocating TV series. Such projects are eligible for a credit equal to 25% of qualified production costs. Last month, the state film commission announced that the HBO Max show “The Flight Attendant” would receive an $11 million credit for relocating from New York. “Chad,” which airs on TBS, was also awarded $3.6 million to relocate from Vancouver.

Newsom also announced billions for high-speed rail and other transportation projects and rural broadband, among many other programs. The governor laid out hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to small businesses and tax credits for green manufacturing.

The governor has been touting elements of his $100 billion recovery plan throughout the week. On Monday, he announced $600 stimulus checks for most California taxpayers. He also announced billions for schools, homelessness and drought prevention.

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