California Film Commission Annual Report – California Tax Credit Program

Each year, the California Film Commission issues an annual Progress Report on the state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program. This year’s report provides updated information on all five years of the recently concluded Program 2.0, along with a review of the new provisions that went into effect with the July 1 launch of Program 3.0.

Notwithstanding the recent impact of COVID-19, the new report affirms that California’s tax credit program continues to achieve a significant return-on-investment.

Highlights include:
In-State Spending and Jobs — With the inclusion of preliminary year-five data, Program 2.0 is on track to generate nearly $11.2 billion in direct film/TV production spending in California (based on an investment of $1.55 billion in tax credit reservations). Spending includes nearly $4 billion in qualified wages to below-the-line crew members and $3.6 billion in qualified expenditures to in-state vendors. Program 2.0 will also generate another $3.7 billion in unincentivized spending that does not qualify for tax credits.
Relocating TV Series — Program 2.0 welcomed a total of 18 relocating TV series from other states and nations. Such projects bring significant long-term spending and employment. California’s success at welcoming relocating TV series continues with the new Program 3.0, which has already added four additional relocating TV series.
Big-Budget Films — With its expanded project eligibility, Program 2.0 welcomed a total of 13 big-budget feature films to the Golden State.
• Statewide Production — Year-five of Program 2.0 continued to bring significant production spending and employment to regions outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone.
Career Training — Program 2.0 created a wide array of career-based learning opportunities for underrepresented groups. To date, hundreds of student internships, teacher externships and professional skills tours have been provided by tax credit projects, along with nearly $500,000 in related financial contributions.
This year’s Progress Report concludes with an overview of the major changes for Program 3.0, including more tax credits for independent productions, a new pilot skills training program targeting underserved communities, and a requirement that productions provide diversity initiatives and anti-harassment policies.

The full 2020 Tax Credit Program Progress Report is available on the California Film Commission’s website.