California’s film subsidies brought in more than $1 billion in spending in the past year, study finds


A view of the Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills in  2009 file photo. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

It’s estimated $1.1 billion was spent in California by 71 movies and television shows that received tax subsidies from the state in the past year.

According to a study released by the California Film Commission on Wednesday, that $1.1 billion came after the state spent $155 million on tax subsidies for 45 feature films, 13 television movies, and 13 television series from July 2013 to June 2014.

California began offering tax subsidies for film and television production in 2009 to stem losses of production to other states and countries that had begun offering subsidies.  The state currently has a $100-million-a-year subsidy cap, less than some states including New York, Louisiana and Georgia.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) hopes to increase the annual cap in a proposed bill that would also allow big budget feature films, television pilots, and scripted series that air online or streaming services only to be eligible to receive subsidies.

The study found that 84 percent of film and television projects that applied for subsidies but did not receive them spent more than $1 million in production outside California.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post

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