Hollywood's power players are petitioning California to lower taxes...for them, at least.

Film Works, an coalition of entertainment industry stakeholders, says that the combination of increased operating costs in California and increased tax incentive packages in other states has led TV and movie production crews that once filmed in California to move elsewhere, resulting in job loss and economic disparity for the state. There has indeed been a massive shift in film production over the past several years, as evidenced by these facts:

  • “Of the 45 big-budget feature films of 2012 and 2013, only one shot exclusively in California.”
  • “From 2005 to 2013, California’s share of the 1-hour TV series market declined from 64% to 28%, resulting in the loss of an estimated 8,500 jobs.”
  • “According to a 2007 study commissioned by the San Francisco Film Commission, every job lost in the film industry results in a loss of $112,000 in spending to the local economy.”
  • “In the last 15 years, feature film production in Los Angeles has dropped nearly 60 percent.”

Business-friendly policies in states like Louisiana and North Carolina have attracted filmmakers in recent years and added millions of dollars to their economies. Film Works' petition warns that if California does not pass similar legislation, the state will lose its competitive edge for good and will no longer be the entertainment hub it once was.

Film and television production is a major source of jobs and economic vitality in California, but with increased competition, California is losing thousands of middle-class jobs and significant tax revenue to other states and nations.  If policymakers fail to make our state more competitive, the film industry in California will face the same fate as other industries, including aerospace, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of jobs permanently leaving California for other states.

I find it interesting that some of the biggest players in Hollywood, a group that has a reputation for being liberal to the core, is now begging its state to adopt an economic policy that is pro-capitalism and embraced by conservatives. I guess that just about anybody can see the light when money is at stake.

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