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Arts and Entertainment

Film Industry Gets $330 Million Boost In Tax Credits From The State. Will They Work?

A photo of the Hollywood sign during daytime.
The state hopes this tax boost will bring more production back to California.
(David McNew
Getty Images North America)
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California is increasing the amount of tax credits for film and TV productions by $330 million over the next two years — including $180 million to lure productions to Hollywood and another $150 million for building new sound stages.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 144, which expands the state's existing film tax credit program. State Senator Anthony Portantino, whose district includes Burbank and Pasadena, co-authored the bill with Los Angeles Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo and Inglewood Assemblymember Autumn Burke. He told KPCC's AirTalk with Larry Mantle that the goal is to retain and create more jobs in California.

"When Canada, Georgia, and other states started to do their incentives, we lost those middle class, union jobs with health care benefits, the type of jobs we want in California," Portantino said on the program.

But another guest on the show, Matthew Mitchell, a senior research fellow at George Mason University, said there's "zero evidence that the broader community or the broader economy benefits" from the tax breaks.

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According to the Governor's office, the Film and Tax Credit Program has generated nearly $18 billion in production spending for California since the program launched in 2009.

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