Leading Republican candidate for California Governor Neel Kashkari made his opinion known about whether CA taxpayers should subsidize the film industry:
“I don’t like the idea of Hollywood leaving California, but I know that other states are subsidizing movies now, up to 30 percent of the cost of a movie, which is silly economic policy,” Kashkari told The Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board.
Kashkari said he would focus on improving the state’s overall economy and that, “If other states or other countries are going to do silly things, then let them do silly things.”
Last year California Governor Jerry Brown was asked about more subsidies for the film industry:
The other states give lavish subsides to get people to make movies and we do that to a degree but were not going to have a race to the bottom where the state is supposed to pay for every private sector job that we want to attract. That is a losing strategy that I hope other states would get off.
There is a state bill (AB1839) that is currently being put together to increase subsidies for the film industry. I’ve routinely told everyone that the current film subsidy race for VFX is a very expensive one with places like British Columbia paying 60% of resident salaries. Studios will expect California to beat that deal which would make it extremely costly and unlikely AB1839 would have any effect. Furthermore, many supporters of AB1839 here in California are reluctantly throwing their support behind the bill because it will bring short term relief: The bill will not go into effect until July of 2016.
This is why I argue the quickest and most cost effective relief to the subsidy race is our effort to implement anti-subsidy duties for visual effects. I’ll post some updates on current work being done for the case but we would probably see immediate effects if we are successful before AB1839 even goes into effect.