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California Halts Plans to Extend Film Tax Credit Beyond 2025

The California state legislature has opted to pursue other priorities in the short term, though the extension is still expected to pass next year.

California Governor Gavin Newsom

California Governor Gavin Newsom

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The California Film Commission recently issued tax credits to 18 films planning to shoot in the state in 2023, but the program that made it possible is currently scheduled to expire in 2025. A bill (SB 485) that would extend the program through 2030 has been working its way through the California state legislature and had been expected to pass this year. The state currently allocates $330 million per year in tax credits for film production, and SB 485 would seek to keep those numbers at their current level.

The bill has been spearheaded by state Senator Anthony Portantino, who issued a statement on Thursday revealing that the bill would not be voted on until the next legislative session begins in January (via Variety).

“Given the Governor’s commitment, it does not seem pressing to push SB 485 through right now, while there is still time to thoughtfully act before 2025,” Portantino said. “This is an important and successful fiscal and jobs program, and I am committed to seeing it extended. Further, I appreciate the work of the bill’s co-authors, in particular Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo.”

The popular bill has been slightly delayed by new provisions mandating that films receiving the credits are “broadly reflective” of the state’s demographics, with films that meet certain diversity targets receiving an extra 4% subsidy.

Still, the delay appears to be a logistical one more than anything else and is unlikely to be a serious cause for concern. California Governor Gavin Newsom also issued a statement on Thursday reiterating his support for extending the film tax credit when it comes up for a vote during the next legislative session.

“The film tax credit has been hugely successful,” Newsom said. “Just this week we had four new big budget films and 14 independent films receive tax credits for filming in California that will generate hundreds of millions in spending and thousands of jobs across the state. I thank Senator Portantino and Assemblymember Carrillo for highlighting the program through SB 485, and I am committed to working with the Legislature and stakeholders next year on extending and strengthening this program which helps drive the state’s economy and support California’s iconic film industry.”

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