$400 million has already been committed to the program, which was extended through the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The Hollywood Reporter

By: Alex Ben Block | October 10, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the bill that extends California’s Film & Tax Credit program for one year, through the end of the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The bill had passed the Assembly and was approved by the state Senate in the final hours of the most recent session. There had been an effort to extend the tax credit program for longer than that, but it got caught up in the budget battle and in state politics.

The program to counter runaway production was first put into effecting 2009 and provides $100 million in tax credits annually for movie and TV production (with the exception of network TV series). The money is committed each year as soon as it becomes available on a day in June. As of now $400 million has been committed.

The program had been set to expire after the 2013-2014 fiscal year, even though several studies have said it is a success at retaining productions in the state. One study by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) showed that the first two years of the Program has generated $3.8 billion dollars in economic activity statewide, created more than 20,000 jobs and over $200 million dollars in tax revenues. The report also found that for every tax credit dollar allocated so far, there has been more than $20 pumped into the economy.

Still, some legislators have argued that at a time the state is facing huge deficits, this is not the right way to spend limited funds. Backers have said it keeps work and jobs in the state at a crucial time.

Assembly memberFelipe Fuentes, who has taken a lead in the efforts to extend the program, along with a coalition of labor and film industry leaders, applauded the governor’s leadership in signing the extension. “By creating tens of thousands of jobs and pumping billions into our economy” said Fuentes, “the film and television tax credit program has truly been a statewide economic stimulus package.”

“With the State’s unemployment rate hovering around 12%, we need this incentive to help keep tens of thousands of Californians employed. Extending this program will prevent production companies from moving their projects, jobs and spending out of California,” added Fuentes, who said he plans to re-introduce legislation for a longer extension in the next session of the legislature, which beings in January.

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