Los Angeles still has the Hollywood sign, the Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard to testify to its status as the world capital of movie production, but these days filmmakers are spending much less time in California. Other states offer better tax incentives to film producers, an allure that hasn’t been countered by California’s 2009 tax credit program for film production costs.Now California legislators have a new measure to bring the movie sets back to the Golden State. Variety has the story:
One key component of new legislation to strengthen California’s incentive program, introduced Feb. 19, would raise to $100 million the current budget cap of $75 million on eligible productions. To drive home the need for state support, attendees at a Feb. 22 rally in Burbank held by Hollywood unionists were handed petitions to send to Sacramento citing that only one of 41 big-budget feature films shot in 2012 and 2013 was shot entirely in California.
Let’s get this straight: Industry titans take their business elsewhere to reap the tax benefits and pad their bottom line; yet the very same Hollywood power-brokers continue to use their political influence to the detriment of the rest of the state.California is a bifurcated state. Los Angeles’s entertainment and San Francisco’s tech industries are the state’s two big cash cows, home to powerful, rich, and mostly left-leaning industry leaders who support the state’s deep blue and green politics. All too often, the policies championed by the LA and San Francisco elite make life harder for people in poorer, inland parts of the state by increasing red tape and taxes and driving much-needed businesses to neighboring states. For a long time, the state’s entertainment and tech centers appeared relatively impervious to these costs, but now it seems that the entertainment industry, at least, is beginning to feel the pinch. This probably won’t be enough to convince Hollywood to reconsider its political priorities, but perhaps it should be.