New York, Louisiana and New Mexico offer tax incentives of up to 30% for film and television productions, while Canada offers benefits worth up to 55% of labor costs. California previously had no incentive program until a stimulus measure was passed into law this year that offers up to 25% in tax credits for qualifying projects. The incentives take effect in July.
But those incentives will not apply to big-budget films, sitcoms and other projects from major studios that are likely to locate elsewhere, said Philip Sokoloski, spokesman for FilmLA, the group that handles film permits in Los Angeles.
The increase in productions in other states and countries has also prompted some local industry professionals to set up entertainment-industry companies in other states that serve those projects, which has in turn made it easier for studios to opt for other states over California, where the bulk of the industry’s workforce has historically been, Sokoloski said.