AB 1300 will expand domestic film and TV music scoring by boosting state tax credit for foreign productions
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 13, 2017) — As California suffers an exodus of film and television music jobs, musicians are battling offshoring head-on with a new bill that would boost the state tax credit for foreign productions.
AB 1300, recently introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, would bring the success of the California Film & TV Tax Credit Program to musicians and the scores that are an integral part of every motion picture and TV project.
“California must act now to save the density of infrastructure and labor pool that we need to both be the tremendous artistic and economic resource that we have, and to maintain our status as a global magnet for the best and brightest,” says John Acosta, president of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 in Los Angeles. “By targeting foreign productions, we can lure that work back home and create more scoring jobs here in California. This also ensures that California tax dollars invest in jobs that would otherwise be lost to us.”
The California Music Scoring Tax Credit bill would significantly raise the credit for motion pictures shot outside of North America. It would require the California Film Commission to allocate a credit amount for post-production music scoring or recording in an amount equal to 30% or 25% of qualified expenditures attributable to the production of a motion picture filmed outside of California if a specified number of employees are employed and at least 75% of the music scoring or recording occurs within California. It would also provide a new low-budget provision that would qualify projects $5 million or under to a scoring credit, regardless of filming location. An attractive aspect of the bill is that funding for the bill would not come from new tax dollars, but rather from the reallocation of previously dedicated credits.
“We are the musicians who teach, perform and record soundtracks in California,” reads the petition promoting AB 1300, already signed by hundreds of musicians, composers and organizational supporters. “Now, too often we see popular film and TV projects shipping our scoring jobs overseas. California’s legislature needs to protect musicians’ jobs along with other film and television employment. This puts money back into our state’s economy, and provides the quality jobs which supports our longstanding community involvement and development of the arts.”
AB 1300 is endorsed by a growing coalition of musicians, film and television composers, and organizations including AFM Local 47, San Francisco Musicians Union Local 6, American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, The Recording Academy San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters, Recording Musicians Association of Los Angeles, Society of Composers and Lyricists, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and POPS, United Teachers Los Angeles, and National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians–Communications Workers of America (NABET-CWA) Local 53. Proponents of the bill are actively meeting with local legislators and community leaders to ensure that music scoring work returns to California. Discussions are currently ongoing with the offices of the mayor and governor of Los Angeles.