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Letters: The bigger picture on Hollywood tax credits

September 08, 2012
  • Film industry volunteers shot an ad last year in Studio City extolling the benefits of filming in L.A.
Film industry volunteers shot an ad last year in Studio City extolling the… (Los Angeles Times )

Re "Do Hollywood tax credits really help the economy?," Sept. 6

The Times' article expressing skepticism over the effectiveness of tax credits for filming in California avoids mentioning New York. That state's astronomical handout to the film business amounts to more than $400 million a year (compared to the proposed $100 million a year for California through 2018).

The success of New York's aggressive program can be measured by several indicators: a tenfold leap in production over as many years; a strengthening of the film talent base; an already booming tourist business that can now boast a "Hollywood on the Hudson" component; a business community well aware that film crews on the streets and on sound stages mean better business for everybody; and a population excited to have yet one more glamorous feather in its cap.

The Times notes that other states have not seen this kind of return on their investment. But states like New York and California that have a standing film industry benefit the most from

subsidies. In other states, film crews leave after shooting. Here and in New York, workers and their families provide continuity as taxpayers and as cultural and social capital.

Film subsidies will keep our native industry from abandoning us and leaving California all the poorer.

David Impastato

Los Angeles

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