New Legislation Introduced to Extend and Expand California’s Production Incentive

PAC Bocanegra

March 6, 2014

On Tuesday, February 18, California State Assembly Members Mike Gatto (CA-43) and Raul Bocanegra (CA-39) introduced legislation, AB 1839, that seeks to extend and expand California’s current film and television production incentive so that California can rejoin other states as a viable location for film and TV production.

Highlights of the new legislation include:

  • Lifting the budget cap on feature films eligible to apply for the program, however only qualified expenditures of up to $100 million will be eligible for the credit.
  • Allowing all new 1-hour television series, regardless of where they air – broadcast, cable, Netflix etc. – to be eligible to apply for the program. Allowing television pilots to be eligible to apply for the program.
  • Extending the program for five additional years.
  • Offering a 5% additional tax credit for filming done outside of the Los Angeles area (for a total of 25%).
  • Offering a 25% credit for television shows relocating to California in the first year.
  • Modifying the requirement that 75% of production days occur in California to 75% of principal photography days occur in California, to ensure more jobs are created here.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced with the backing of 64 legislators, indicating widespread support for the bill across California and across political parties. The bill will next be referred to the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee for a hearing in March.

Three days after the bill was introduced, nearly 70 members of the DGA’s PAC hosted Assembly Member Bocanegra at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters for lunch and a briefing on the new legislation. Currently serving his first term in the California State Legislature, Assembly Member Bocanegra chairs the Revenue and Taxation Committee, which oversees issues related to taxes, fees, and revenue generation for California. His joint author on the new legislation, Assembly Member Gatto, chairs the Appropriations Committee. The bill will eventually make its way through both committees before going to the full Assembly for a vote.

The DGA has been working as part of the California Film & Television Production Alliance – a coalition of guilds, unions, producers, small businesses, film commissions, and associations that have worked together for more than a decade to promote, improve, and enhance film and television production in California – to encourage the passage of legislation that will help California become a competitive option for film and TV production once again. The current California incentive program has some of the lowest funding in the nation, at $100 million per year, and is set to expire in 2016. The DGA believes it is important to ensure that Guild members have the option to live and work where they choose. With more than half of all DGA members living in California, a healthy and viable production environment in California is essential.

To learn more or to sign a petition urging state lawmakers to help California stay competitive, please visit