Hollywood wants "$400m a year" from the California taxpayer


They should be given a tax break for any film that isn’t a remake or reboot, a prequel or a sequel.


Tell Hollywood to take a hike. We need our bridges and roads fixed first or better mental health programs or help for the homeless and so forth.


I think it’s a good idea. In exchange we should simply require that recipient companies allow state auditors access to their books.


I’m pretty sure state tax auditors already have that power, yes?

Okay, the power to force them to actually make sense.

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No, no, no. The real books. The ones that show how movies like Mars Needs Moms cost $150 mil to produce.


Is this anymore ridiculous than the tax breaks we give to Google, Facebook, Twitter, &c.?

If I lived in California…

“Hmmm… NO!”

And why are multibillion dollar corporations NOT PAYING TAXES!

Because they pay our lawmakers to allow it.

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So, no tax break, then?

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OK, lets give this a little context.
California is facing the very real fact that in just a couple years it might loose it’s film industry. This is due to the fact that every state outside of California offers large subsidies. Canada, London, Ireland, Norway, France and Australia also offer very large subsidies. The film industry is a very large industry and California would loose a lot of money. 400M is nothing compared to what other countries are offering, it’s a small ask to keep people working here. Yes I agree we should fix our roads and bridges and better mental problems but try doing that after you loose one of the biggest industries in the state.

only if they promise to make less terrible films.

Don’t hold your breath.


This is a great point. In Los Angeles, particularly, a decent chunk of the population lives/moves here to work in the industry. The industry is being enticed out of the state to other cities/countries that offer better advantages, thereby giving these people less of a reason to live here. And that constitutes loss of tax revenue from people that make decent money. It also wrecks businesses like equipment rental companies, etc. that are here to service the industry. Not being an economist, I don’t know if $400 million definitely offsets these types of losses, but it is something to consider. It used to be advantages to shoot movies in CA due to the never-ending sunny days, but that no longer keeps production here, because of technology advances that make it less of a necessity. Yes, we desperately need to address infrastructure, education and other problems, but losing the film industry is a blow to local economies. It is not simply a black-and-white matter of Hollywood jerks ripping everyone off.

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It seems that companies believe that their reward for providing employment should be that they don’t have to pay any taxes themselves and states aid this by being happy to fight each other in a race to the bottom - crap jobs in your own state are better than good jobs in a different one, I guess.



Believe me, I am not a fan of corporate tax breaks in general. And we CA residents get the crap taxed out of us as it is. I mean, we pay 9% sales tax in LA for chissakes. But the loss of the movie industry would be a huge blow to the economy, and I’m not sure how you stop it. Throwing money at it does seem ridiculous, but I don’t exactly know what the alternatives are. Somebody smarter than me needs to figure that out, and that’s probably not the politicians.

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I’d say stop the other states from offering corporate tax breaks; but then what do you do about foreign states?

Isn’t the WTO meant to stop this sort of rubbish?

The difference in tax rates is not drastic enough for MGM or Paramount or Universal or any of the big players to close up shop and invest billions of dollars building new sound stages, recruiting new talent, etc.

The entertainment industry isn’t a single company that can relocate on a whim; losing “the industry” would mean untold numbers of TV studios, movie studios, executives, talent agents, actors, pre-production studios, post-production studios, special effects studios, sound studios, marketing agencies and such would have to embark on a mass-migration. And for what? Hollywood can blow $400 million on two big-budget action movies.


Governments paying industry to stick around is never a good idea, as it causes the companies to act in whatever way maximizes their take of the subsidies, instead of trying to be profitable by improving efficiency and the like. Also, if the terms and conditions of the subsidy aren’t strict, the companies will take the money and run. And if the money every dries up, they’ll just take off anyways, because the money was the only reason they were there in the first place. Atlantic Canada has been trying to attract businesses using this method for many moons, and it has never paid off.