L.A. Mayor Waives Fees For Television Pilots

“This isn’t about the stars on the screen but carpenters, caterers, and electricians and the stores they shop in,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday. An ordinance to waive fees for television pilots is estimated to cost the city $230,000 a year. posted on

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LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a law Friday exempting the filming of television pilots from city fees.

“If this helps us land a pilot, it’s likely to help us land a series,” Garcetti, who wrote the measure during his time as a member of the city council, said.

Garcetti said attracting film production was more about supporting middle-class jobs than movies stars. “This isn’t about the stars on the screen but carpenters, caterers, and electricians and the stores they shop in,” he said.

According to a report released earlier this year by the city’s chief administrative officer, waiving the fees would only cost Los Angeles about $230,000 a year in lost revenue, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

The ordinance is a small step, Garcetti said. He urged the state government to pass measures to attract and keep film production in both Los Angeles and the state.

California currently has a $100 million tax incentive program for film production. New York state, however, has a $400 million tax incentive program.

Garcetti said California Gov. Jerry Brown is “skeptical” about increasing the tax incentive, but said he has had “three or four” conversations with the governor. “I’m optimistic about our chances in the state,” he said.

A typical pilot employs an average of 150 people, according the the mayor’s office. In the 2012–2013 development cycle, there were 96 pilots filmed in Los Angeles.

“In the 2012-2013 development cycle, Los Angeles hosted 96 pilots, which created an estimated 14,400 direct production jobs,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. “The average television series spends $100,000 to $250,000 per day during production and each entertainment industry job created generates 2.7 additional jobs, according to Film L.A.”

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