California's Film & TV tax credit program 2.0 has generated $21.9bn

Recent projects to take advantage of the program include Licorice Pizza, Being the Ricardos, Tragedy of Macbeth and King Richard

By Melissa Kasule 23 Mar 2022

California's Film & TV tax credit program 2.0 has generated $21.9bn
Licorice Pizza Credit: Focus Features

California’s film & TV tax credit program 2.0 has generated a total of $21.9bn in economic output and $961.5m in state and local tax revenue over its five-year run, according to the California Film Commission.

A new study by the California Film Commission, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and Motion Picture Association (MPA) shows that for every $1 allocated, the state benefitted from at least $24.40 in economic output.

Governor Newsom expanded the program last year by an additional $330m per year in tax credits to fight ‘runaway production’ and boost film/TV production employment and spending across the state. Newsom claims the expansion has also helped support over 110,000 jobs.

“Our uniquely targeted tax credit program enables us to level the playing field, fight runaway production and deliver a significant value to taxpayers,” said California Film Commission executive director Colleen Bell. “Our program welcomes big-budget films, small-budget indies and everything in between. It has also been very successful with TV production, incentivizing new and recurring projects while prompting dozens of series to relocate here from other states and nations.”

“The success of this program is not only the jobs created and retained, but the economic engine it provides to other businesses throughout the region and the state,” added Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to the governor and director of the Office of Business and Economic Development. 

Projects that have recently been shot in California under Program 2.0 include Licorice Pizza, Being the Ricardos, The Tragedy of Macbeth and King Richard, which altogether generated $82.7m in wages to below-the-line workers and payments to vendors over a combined 174 filming days in California.

The latest edition of California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program (Program 3.0) started in July 2020 to continue and expand upon Program 2.0’s success. Projects filming in the state are on track to generate nearly $440m in wages to below-the-line workers and payments to in-state vendors.

“California’s film and TV tax credit program is an investment in the industry and the thousands of people whose passion and vision create the content we all want to watch,” said Nancy Rae Stone, deputy director of the tax credit program. “Its career readiness requirement helps ensure a pipeline of emerging talent in the years ahead by providing paid internships, workshops and panels, while the Career Pathways Program provides hands-on training to individuals from underserved communities.”

The California Film Commission will also launch the California Soundstage Filming Tax Credit Program later this year as a new tool to expand film/TV production infrastructure and workforce inclusion.

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