A California bill to expand the state’s tax credits for film and television production was given a dollar amount Thursday: $400 million a year.
That preliminary number, subject to amendment by the legislature of Gov. Jerry Brown (D), is four times what that state has handed out since 2009, and was announced by the Senate Appropriations Committee in a unanimous vote. If passed, would be the second-highest in the country, behind only New York, which offers $420 million a year.
The bill, AB1839, also expands what projects are eligible for tax credits to include shows that air online and “big-budget blockbusters” and offers additional incentives to filming that takes place outside the Los Angeles area.
California lawmakers and the mayors of the 10 largest cities in the state have been supportive of the bill, calling it a necessary measure to halt the migration of production to other states and countries offering incentives.
“I’ve heard from so many people over the past year who have told me about their family being torn apart because production left the state,” Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D), a bill co-sponsor, said in a statement. “This proactive effort ensures well-paying jobs stay in California and families remain together.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has lost more than than 16,000 film and television jobs and more than $1.5 billion in lost wages from 2004 to 2012, Gatto’s office said in a statement.
The bill heads next to the California Senate.