Motion Unlikely On Bills to Stem Producing Flight
By DARRELL SATZMAN
It’s looking like wait ’til next year for backers of legislation to stem runaway production.
With little more than a week to go before Congress is scheduled to adjourn, time is running out for a bill that would provide wage-based tax credits to productions with budgets of $10 million or less that are filmed entirely in the United States.
State legislation that would have provided similar tax credits to productions at least half made in California was defeated in September.
Led by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., supporters are making a last-ditch effort to attach Senate Bill 1278, known as the United States Independent Production Incentive Act, to a comprehensive small business tax bill that could be considered before the Senate breaks on Oct. 18. However, given the crowded congressional agenda, a vote on the bill this year is not a certainty.
If it gets through the Senate, the legislation must be reconciled with a companion runaway production bill in the House, authored by Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, among others. That bill has been in Ways and Means Committee for nearly a year waiting to be attached to a larger tax bill.
Pamm Fair, national deputy director of policy and planning for the Screen Actors Guild, said, “We’re still hopeful, but we’re also realistic.”
Supporters say the demise of the California legislation, which would have provided a 15 percent tax credit on the first $25,000 of a workers’ salary, was directly tied to the state budget crisis. With the state deficit expected to grow in 2003, prospects for passage next year would seem dim as well.