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Hollywood Film Groups Plead For Tax Breaks

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

07 December 2001


According to a report in the LA Times, Hollywood film and television workers told state lawmakers on Wednesday that they must introduce meaningful tax breaks and cut red tape if they are to compete with Canada and other countries which are proving more attractive as locations for film productions.

Speaking at a hearing at the Los Angeles Center Studios, Ross De Vol, an economist with the Milken Institute economic research organisation cited figures which showed that the budget of a $40 million film could hypothetically be cut by around 25% if shot in Canada. He also told state legislators that between 1990 and 1998, the percentage of US-developed productions shooting in foreign countries almost doubled to 26.5%, with the vast majority of runaway productions choosing to locate in Canada.

Representatives from actors' unions also spoke before state officials, revealing that the topic of runaway production had become one of the most important issues for actors as well as executives, and urging them to find a way to counteract the trend.

However, state officials warned that, although they sympathize with the plight of the Hollywood film industry, tax breaks and other major changes are unlikely in the current climate, due to the worsening financial picture in the United States generally.


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