LA City Council seeks to rein in runaway production

In response to a slump in TV and movie production, the Los Angeles City Council wants local agencies to dangle more incentives for producers. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says council members hope to maintain hundreds of thousands of entertainment industry jobs in the Southland.

Film L.A., the agency that coordinates location shooting in Los Angeles city and county, reports a steady decline in the number of permits for movie and TV production during the last couple of years. The state of the economy, and strained labor relations in Hollywood, play a role in that. So does competition from states and Canadian provinces that offer special incentives for production companies.

The L.A. City Council wants to strike back with tax credits for the owners of buildings that appear in films and TV shows, sales tax refunds for production-related purchases, and other breaks. City agencies will report back to the council on the feasibility of these ideas.

The economic recession does harbor a potential silver lining. It’s prompting lawmakers in some other states to question the wisdom of granting generous tax breaks to movie and TV shoots when essential services that need money are stretched thin.

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