LA Times: Are Film Subsidies Worth It?

Technocrane operator Henry Flores sets up tracks on the set of "The Perfect Guy" in the Hollywood Hills. 
Courtesy: 
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Technocrane operator Henry Flores sets up tracks on the set of "The Perfect Guy" in the Hollywood Hills. Courtesy: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

(LA Times) —

Tired of seeing Hollywood take its business elsewhere, California is moving to triple tax subsidies for film and TV productions, boosting incentives to $330 million annually and making the state competitive with New York, Georgia and other states that are courting the entertainment industry with ever-richer incentives.

The action is widely seen as necessary to stop thousands of jobs from leaving Southern California, where most studios and production companies are based and would prefer to work if costs are roughly equivalent.

Yet it comes amid growing national debate about the value of film tax breaks and whether they create new jobs, or merely shift work from one place to another. Some fear California’s move may, in fact, escalate a bidding war among states eager to claim a share of the world’s most glamorous industry.

While these tax credits have been highly effective at luring production out of California, their long-term economic benefits have been questioned by several independent studies.

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