We strongly support the creation of a targeted tax credit program aimed at bringing film scoring jobs back to California.
In 2012 California legislators recognized the crisis presented by “runaway production” by passing the first California Film and Television tax credit program. In 2014 we renewed our commitment to this industry by more than tripling the funds allocated to keeping production jobs in our state. But as local production jobs have rebounded considerably, music scoring jobs, facing the same pressures, are now six years further behind. Our film industry used to serve as a magnet: attracting the best musicians from around the world to California. Now, as we surrender this industry to London, we stand to lose jobs, tax revenue, and the tremendous cultural and educational equity that musicians contribute to our communities.
Musicians’ wages and residuals from film and television scoring are significant to our state’s economy. We have the most talented musicians. Most film composers live and work here. We have the best film scoring infrastructure in the world. Despite all this, our scoring stages often sit empty while projects that received funding from California taxpayers go to London to record their music.
Californians have a lot to gain by keeping this industry here. Because these jobs generate years of steady, taxable residual income for musicians, taxpayers get more bang for their buck with music jobs. Our schools, universities, and after-school programs all benefit from having world-class studio musicians in their faculty, and as a result, students have access and exposure to professional music careers at the highest level.
We stand with students, teachers, composers, and the thousands of professional musicians and other workers whose livelihoods depend upon the vitality of the state’s motion picture and television industry in support of dedicating tax credit dollars to bring music jobs back to California.