Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti touted California's film tax credit Tuesday during a campaign stop, saying it helped make 2016 a record year for filming in Los Angeles.
"If you grew up in Detroit, someone on your block worked for an auto company or was employed where autoworkers spent their paychecks,'' he said.
"Here in L.A., the same goes for our entertainment industry. It's the bedrock of our middle class, putting truck drivers, electricians, makeup artists, carpenters and caterers to work. That's who this is all about."
"Leading the fight to triple our state film tax credit is bringing 50,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in production back home, and is a key part to our jobs strategy that has outpaced the nation in job growth and cut our unemployment rate in half."
Garcetti was a proponent of the tax credit program, which offers up to $330 million annually to local studios for keeping their productions in Los Angeles and runs through 2020. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in 2014 raising the credit from $100 million.
Garcetti spoke at a Raleigh Studios sound stage used by "Major Crimes," which benefits from the tax credit.
"Keeping production here is not just about keeping 60,000 good jobs here; it's about keeping the L.A. dream here," said James Duff, the show's co-executive producer. "Having a mayor who understands this makes all the difference. I can tell you as a fact, my show would not be on the air if it weren't for the tax credit."
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According to FilmL.A., which serves as the official film office of the city and county of Los Angeles and 20 other local jurisdictions, 2016 was one of the busiest for local productions in recent memory.
Garcetti is facing 10 challengers in the March 7 election, although he holds a substantial fundraising advantage over them all, having raised more than $3 million through Jan. 21. The second highest in raised funds, Mitchell Schwartz, has raised almost $370,000.
"This is typical Garcetti, talking out of both sides of his mouth," said Josh Kilroy, Schwartz's campaign manager. "Boasting about tax credits that come from the state government to some people, boasting about partnerships with China that send Los Angeles-based jobs to China to others.''