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10 mayors support expanding state's film tax credit program

Photo by Roger Jones via Flickr Creative Commons

Ten California mayors expressed their support for expanding the state's film and TV production tax credit program.

The mayors wrote a letter to two state legislators who are the joint-authors of a bill that would allow more types of productions, including big budget films, to qualify for the state's program.

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The program allocates $100 million annually and advocates have argued to increase the amount of tax credits available. There's been concern that states like New York are luring film production from California. New York's program allocates roughly four times more in financial incentives.

"Simply stated, the demand for film and television productions that want to remain in California far exceeds the resources available within the state's current production incentive program," the mayors wrote in the letter. 

Last year, less than one in 10 projects that applied for the program had received financial incentives from the state, the mayors said.

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The mayors were from Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Ana.

Some critics, like Joseph Henchman, with the Tax Foundation, said that increasing the amount of tax credits may encourage other states to do the same, resulting in "a race to the bottom."

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A copy of the letter from ten California mayors