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California to boost tax credit for filmmakers

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference in San Francisco, on January 17, 2014
California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference in San Francisco, on January 17, 2014

California is set to more than triple its tax credits granted to the film industry in a bid to limit an exodus of movie makers from Hollywood tempted by more generous aid.

Governor Jerry Brown said he is set to sign an accord passed by the western US state's lawmakers, who voted to grant $330 million per year for five years, or a total of $1.65 billion.

Previously, tax credits for films were limited to $100 million a year.

"This law will ... put thousands of Californians to work," Brown said in a statement, which noted that over the last 15 years film production has plummeted by 50 percent in California.

In 2013, 21 of the 23 new prime time TV series were filed outside California.

The bill is expected to be adopted by the California Senate this week, after having passed the Assembly, with the new tax credits in place for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

"This is a crown-jewel industry that provides jobs and opportunity for middle-class families in every region of our Golden State," said Senate president-elect Kevin de Leon.

"We're sending a powerful signal today that we are 100-percent committed to keeping the cameras rolling and bright lights shining in our state for years to come," he added in the joint statement issued by Brown's office.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins added: "Not only does extending the Film Tax Credit keep cameras rolling in California, it will keep costumers designing, craft services catering, and carpenters hammering.

"It's just common sense -- when California hosts more production, we get more jobs and more revenue."

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