I’ll be honest…I’m not a fan of most tax breaks for businesses. More often than not, they add up to a massive giveaway to corporate CEOs that does little to nothing to create jobs or help workers. For evidence, look no further than Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.
But if you can offer a tax credit that actually helps create good, middle-class jobs that bolster our economy AND you ensure the credit is accountable to that goal, I’m with you. When Gov. Brown signed the extension of the film tax credit last year, which the California Labor Federation and a coalition of unions and other groups supported, that’s exactly what was promised. Now we’re seeing the positive impact of the promise of good jobs being kept.
Last week elected officials, workers, unions and others came together to celebrate one of the early successes of the new tax credit, the return of production on the show Secrets and Lies to Los Angeles.
Camera operator and IATSE union member Tommy Lohmann has spent countless nights away from his family while filming in other states as a result of runaway production. But with the new tax credit, his show was lured back to LA. As a result, Tommy and hundreds of other workers are now earning a good wage and helping to support their Southern California businesses and community.
“It is great to be employed back home after spending most of the last 10 years out of town. Seeing my family every night and sleeping in my own bed are things that I, and all of my co-workers, have missed terribly. The business belongs in California for so many reasons, and it’s great to have it back.”
California’s film industry is iconic. It’s a driver of good jobs and helps sustain our state’s middle class. The film tax credit, a model of transparency and accountability, is keeping those good jobs here and bringing back some that left years ago. That’s good news for workers and California’s economy.