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California Governor extends $100 million Hollywood tax credit… now it’ll be cheaper for them to make movies about the evils of corporate welfare

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By Doug Powers  •  October 2, 2012 03:26 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Not even two weeks ago Hollywood was begging Governor Jerry Brown to raise their taxes:

Barbra Streisand has a new cause: Proposition 30.

The singer, actress and philanthropist wrote a $5,000 check to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure last week, joining other Hollywood notables, including movie director Rob Reiner.

Brown has said the initiative, which would temporarily hike upper income and state sales taxes, is necessary to close California’s deficit and avoid steep cuts to public schools and universities.

The film industry is behind him. Studios, including Warner Bros., Fox and Disney, have contributed at least $700,000 to the governor’s campaign committee, according to records filed with the secretary of state’s office.

So naturally — because the film industry is so serious about its willingness to chip in more to the public coffers — Brown had to extend Hollywood’s tax credits or else those same people would flee the state to produce their movies and TV shows in places with more welcoming tax deals:

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday signed legislation extending the state’s $100 million tax-credit fund for two more years.

The measure allows California producers a 20 percent or 25 percent credit against income and sales and use taxes and is designed to help stem the production exodus that has plagued the state in recent years.

“The state of California took a big step forward today, thanks to Governor Brown and the legislature,” said Christopher Dodd, chairman and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America. “The two-year extension of the state’s production tax credit will keep California competitive for tens of thousands of production-related jobs. This is an important victory for California’s economy, our national economy, and the hardworking men and women who comprise the film and television industry.”

It’s disturbingly funny when a politician makes a proposal and then signs off on a second proposal designed to ward off an unintended consequence that proves why the first proposal is a really bad idea. To top it off, an industry that benefits from large tax credits then takes some of their tax credit windfall and donates it back to the cause of forcing the rich to pay higher taxes. Circle of life, Hollywood style.

Couldn’t Brown nip the paradox in the bud and instead simply demand that Hollywood stop being such hypocrites? I know… had to ask though.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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