Senate Approves Bill to Extend Film Industry Tax Credit
The California Senate has approved a two-year extension of tax credits for the film and television industry.
The tax credit provides $100 million annually. If the bill doesn't become law, the credit will expire in 2015.
Supporters say the tax credit is needed to prevent film and television productions from leaving the state.
While it had support from both Democrats and Republicans, Senator Sam Blakeslee opposed the measure. He says that California needs a major tax overhaul, not tax credits for favored industries.
Blakeslee: "I'm going to be registering a no vote as a Republican on this tax credit measure because I believe we should be using our efforts to systematically fixing this broken tax code which has become such a burden for this economy."
Democratic Senator Ron Calderon authored the bill. He says the credit is an economic engine for the state.
The measure was approved on a 32-3 vote and sent to the Assembly.
Democratic Senator Ted Lieu authored the legislation after tenants in his southern California district complained about a large property management company forcing them to make online payments.
Lieu: "It hit hundreds of tenants in my district and it was something that I think landlords would have kept on doing had this practice not been stopped because it saves them some amount of money to collect rent this way."
Lieu says many residents were elderly, lived on fixed incomes, and had no computer.
The measure is supported by the California Apartment Association.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and now heads to the Governor's desk.