Hollywood Rallies for Tax Breaks…for Hollywood
March 15, 2014 - 3:35 pm
It appears that some one percenters actually don’t like the idea of raising taxes. This is especially true in the vital and strategically important industry of filmmaking.
Or maybe it isn’t. I mean, it’s not like our national security is at risk if they make a film in Louisiana rather than California, right? Except don’t tell Hollywood movers and shakers that. They are so full of self-importance that they don’t care how hypocritical they look by lobbying the state for tax breaks for their industry while they support tax increases on almost everyone else.
On Saturday, the industry joined with small businesses who thrive off movie and TV shows at a rally to urge state lawmakers to cut them some slack on taxes — for the children, of course.
While many of the once alive and active Hollywood studios have become vacant, film production in states with generous tax credits has been booming.
Louisiana is just one example of this phenomenon. The year before it enacted its tax credit (2002), production spending in Louisiana was only $3.5 million. By 2010, that figure had jumped to $674 million, making for a 19,000-percent increase.
Georgia, Texas, and New York, among others, have also lured film production to their cities by establishing expansive tax credits.
Recognizing the dramatic impact California’s onerous operating costs have had on the industry, parties typically associated with encouraging tax increases are now petitioning for California to demand less of the entertainment sector and become more competitive.
Warner Bros, FilmLA, the city and county of Los Angeles and the national labor union representing working actors are just a few of the traditionally left-wing entities that have formally voiced their support of lowering taxes on film makers.
Many businesses and organizations that are not even directly involved with production have been touched by the decline in the industry.
Ray Bidenost, principal of Chef Robért Catering, also has serious concerns about the outflow of capital and jobs.
“In this slow-growth economy, the state of California cannot afford to stand by while literally billions of dollars flow to other regions of the country, or overseas,” he said in a statement.
Bidenost added that lawmakers needed to make California more competitive to ensure that “the movie and TV industry, which is an integral part of the California economy, returns and flourishes here — so that we can continue to provide good-paying jobs for thousands of Californians and their families.”