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Letters: Hanging on to movie industry

August 20, 2013

Re “Film tax credits rip off states,” Column, Aug. 4

Michael Hiltzik raised some good points but left out many important facts about the success of California's Film and Television Incentive Program.

He raised questions on how we incentivize film production to stay here in California. As the author of AB 3, legislation seeking to extend the incentive program next year, stakeholders and I have been working for months to see how we can make improvements.

Hiltzik cited a letter by the Legislative Analyst's Office to show that film tax credits aren't a good deal for Californians. In fact, two notable nongovernmental studies have come to the opposite conclusion: that California's program is a net tax generator for the state.

The column effectively drove home the point that the entertainment industry is the backbone of the state's economy and we must do everything to keep these jobs here. Since the program was created in 2009, it has generated

$4.75 billion in economic activity statewide and created nearly 51,000 jobs, according to the California Film Commission.

New York would never let the financial industry just walk away; California can't let that happen with the entertainment industry.

Raul Bocanegra
The writer is a Democratic state assemblyman.

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