California Needs to Boost Hollywood Aid, Reports Says

California needs to increase and retool its subsidies for the entertainment industry to stem the loss of jobs to other markets, especially New York, the Milken Institute said in a report today.

California lost 16,137 entertainment industry jobs between 2004 and 2012, a decline of 11 percent, while the state’s main competitor, New York, added 10,675 positions, up almost 25 percent, according to the report.

“If California is to keep its entertainment employment base, California must create a distinctive incentive package that allows the entertainment industry to grow without engaging in a race to the bottom in a market saturated with subsidies,” the authors said in the report.

The recommendations for California include increasing the tax credits from the current $100 million a year. The Milken Institute also calls for extending credits to films with budgets exceeding $75 million to keep “blockbusters” in state. It says the state should dedicate a portion to hour-long TV shows and miniseries, and include incentives for filming outside Los Angeles and for visual effects.

The report suggests establishing an application fee that would be used to increase the staff at the California Film Commission. The Santa Monica, California-based Milken Institute was founded in 1991 by junk bond pioneer Michael Milken.

Forty-three states subsidize entertainment production, typically through tax credits or rebates that totaled $1.5 billion in 2010, according to the report.

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