Explaining Southern California's economy

Calif. opens bidding for $100M in film and TV tax credits

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A film crew on location in downtown Los Angeles. (File photo)

The California Film Commission began accepting project applications Monday morning for $100 million in tax credits from California's Film and Television Tax Credit program.

If the program's recent history is any indication, by the end of the day, there will be more applications turned in than the money can cover.

“We had 380 applications on the first day last year, and the $100 million only covered 34 of them,” says commission director Amy Lemisch.  "Each year, we get more than the previous year." 

So how does the film commission handle the overload? With a lottery.

Staff assigns a number to each application received at the commission's Hollywood Boulevard office by 3 p.m.  At 3:30, the drawing begins — overseen by the state fire marshal's office.  The numbers are drawn at random to see which projects will receive the tax credit and which are on a waiting list.


Does a $2 billion bid for the Clippers make financial sense?

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Seven

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Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers drives against Draymond Green 323 of the Golden State Warriors in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 3, 2014, in Los Angeles.

It was mere weeks ago that people were gasping at a speculated $1 billion-plus sale price for the Clippers, which would be double the previous record for an NBA franchise, $550 million for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now, if you believe multiple recent media reports unconfirmed by KPCC, the price could exceed $2 billion, an astonishing amount for a franchise that was once considered the laughing stock of the NBA.

Is a $2 billion price tag justifiable? Absolutely, says Andrew W. Kline, Managing Director of Park Kline, a Century City-based investment bank that specializes in sports transactions. 

RELATED: Shelly Sterling agrees to sell Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Ballmer

"There are a number of ways to justify a purchase like this financially," said Kline. He added that the value may be influenced by two potentially lucrative media deals on the horizon: "One with the Clippers, and one with the league. Both new deals should drive significant revenue and value."


Film and TV tax credit bill passes Calif. Assembly easily, but faces questions in Senate


The fight to stem runaway film and TV production got an expected boost Thursday when the California Assembly approved a bill to renew and expand the state’s film and television tax credit program.

Hollywood-area Assembly members Mike Gatto and Raul Bocanegra introduced AB 1839, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act, in February. By the time it reached the Assembly floor this week, more than 60 of their colleagues were co-authors, so its easy passage in the Assembly was no surprise. 

The measure now heads to the California Senate, where its fate is less clear. At least two committees will have to approve it before it heads to the full Senate. Senators Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and Carol Liu (D-La Canada) are among the bill’s co-authors.

RELATED: Calif. LAO Report: Film tax credit does not 'pay for itself'


LA rents: County faces shortfall of 490,340 affordable homes, most in state

Home Prices Drop To Lowest Level Since 2006

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Los Angeles County is facing the largest shortfall of affordable housing in California – 490,340 homes – according to a new report from the California Housing Partnership Corporation, which says L.A. County is home to seven of the 10 ZIP codes with the worst housing overcrowding in the nation and 64 ZIP codes that are in the worst half percent for housing overcrowding.

And it gets worse. The report also points out the doubly whammy affordability problem KPCC reported on in April: Median rents in Los Angeles County increased by 25 percent between 2000 and 2012, while the median income declined by 9 percent. Making the situation worse: State and federal funding for affordable funding has fallen by half a billion dollars during the last six years in L.A. County.

RELATED: High rent, few options: KPCC's look at the affordability crisis in LA


Santa Anita Park will upgrade main track using sand excavated at LAX

Santa Anita Sunshine 2013

Suzanne - neusuz5/flickr Creative Commons

Horses pound the dirt track at Santa Anita Park

Call it Southern California soil synergy.  

Sand dug up in El Segundo for construction projects at Los Angeles International Airport will head to Arcadia for use in a major renovation of the main track at Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita is planning the renovation of the one-mile track beginning July 11, less than two weeks after the current spring horse-racing season ends.  Trucks are already carrying what track officials call "highly coveted El Segundo Sand" and staging it in the race track's infield parking lot.   The sand is being screened for foreign materials and large rocks.

“We’re going to be moving 20,000-plus yards of material and we anticipate this process is going to take about four or five weeks," said Santa Anita track superintendent Dennis Moore in a statement on the park's web site.   "El Segundo Sand is naturally occurring and we won’t have to mix it with any other material, which is best-case. The best surfaces around the country are all made of naturally occurring soils that are indigenous.”