Newsom Budget Proposes $330 Million Annual California Film Tax Credits

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed extending tax credits for the TV and film industry, hoping to encourage filmmakers to stay in California.

In his 2023-24 state budget, Newsom proposed on Tuesday that filmmakers be allowed tax credits of more than $330 million per year through 2031. The proposed budget extends the Film and Television Tax Credit Program, in place since 2014. The current tax break is set through fiscal 2025-26, and Newsom proposes to extend it another five years.

The plan comes at a time when the state is trying to cut costs to manage a projected $22.5 billion budget deficit. The Newsom plan continues a policy of trying to keep the massive film industry, and its high-paying jobs, in state – while Georgia, New York and Canada try to lure filmmakers away with huge tax incentives.

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Newsom’s budget proposes $297 billion in state spending for 2023-24, and projects a $22.5 million shortfall. The governor has consistently emphasized the importance of retaining the state’s film industry, for the tax revenues it pays and the quality jobs it provides.

Film projects in the tax credit program spent $2.3 billion in California last year, according to the California Film Commission.

Motion Picture Association chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin praised the proposed budget, saying said it “underscores the importance of funding programs that stimulate our economy and support job creation.”

He added: “We look forward to working with leaders in the legislature alongside our union, guild, and other industry partners to pass this important extension that will bolster the creative economy and keep California the home of motion picture production.”

California Film Commission Executive Director Colleen Bell also praised Newsom’s leadership “in ensuring California’s Film and TV Tax Credit Program evolves and continues to deliver on our goal of retaining and growing in-state production.”

Bell said the five-year extension and provision to make tax credits refundable gives the industry leaders more options on keeping long-term investments here in California.

“This will translate into more production-related jobs, spending and opportunity,” Bell said.

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