September 29, 2016 -
In this report, as required by law, we evaluate the economic effects and the administration of the first film tax credit program passed in 2009. We find that about one–third of the film and television projects receiving incentives under this program would probably have been made in California anyway. We suspect that this level of “windfall benefits” to some credit recipients may be low compared to other tax credits, which would suggest that the first film tax credit program targeted the types of production vulnerable to being filmed outside the state relatively well.
Also see these four short videos that highlight findings from this report.
April 30, 2014 - This report provides background information on the motion picture industry and offers preliminary observations regarding the California film and television production tax credit. This report does not make recommendations regarding the tax credit or any proposed legislation. We highlight several factors for the Legislature to consider when reviewing the tax credit in our report.
June 21, 2012 - Letter to Hon. Lois Wolk, Chair of Senate Governance and Finance Committee, providing an evaluation of the February 2012 report, "Economic and Production Impacts of the 2009 California Film and Television Tax Credit."
April 7, 2008 - Presented to: Assembly Revenue and Taxation committee
October 30, 2002 - We review and assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Manufacturers’ Investment Credit.
September 23, 2021 - This post discusses features of the state's spending plan that were not covered elsewhere in the 2021-22 Spending Plan series.
December 18, 2014 - In June 2014, the Legislature directed the LAO to prepare a report analyzing the costs, benefits, and trade-offs of various options for a state earned income tax credit (EITC) that would supplement the federal credit. This report discusses considerations for adopting a state EITC and provides three options for the Legislature's consideration.
February 6, 2009 - To assist the Legislature in resolving the 2009‑10 budget gap, we developed a list of proposals that would raise more than $5 billion in each of 2009‑10 and 2010‑11. Our proposed options include eliminating or modifying 12 tax expenditure programs for a savings of $1.7 billion over the next two years. In general, these recommendations are based on our conclusion that these programs lack a strong rationale or are not sufficiently effective or efficient in achieving their stated goals. We also identify two targeted rate increases—increasing the vehicle license fee (VLF) to 1 percent and a three-year temporary PIT surcharge—that, combined, would raise $3.4 billion in 2009‑10 and $3.5 billion in 2010‑11. These options could be considered by the Legislature in lieu of any of the Governor’s revenue-related proposals. We believe these proposals have merit, both for tax policy reasons (for example, the VLF increase would result in all property in California taxed at the same rate) and for reducing the net impact of any rate increases on taxpayers (as both the VLF and PIT are deductible for federal tax purposes).
November 30, 2003 - Economic theory suggests that without some form of subsidy, overall research and development (R&D) spending in society would be lower than the economically optimal level. A strong case can be made that such a subsidy is appropriate at the federal level. However, we are not aware of economic evidence which, on balance, justifies a state credit in addition to the federal credit.
March 18, 2013 - Presented to Assembly Revenue and Taxation, and Housing and Community Development Committees
February 20, 2008 - 2008-09 Budget: Perspectives and Issues
April 7, 2016 - The Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit (“child care tax credit” or “credit”) is a provision of the state income tax code that allows filers with income below $100,000 to reduce their tax liability by a percentage of their eligible child care expenses. The 2015–16 Budget Act required our office to prepare a report providing options to extend the credit to low– and middle–income families not currently receiving child care subsidies. This report provides an analysis of the costs, benefits, and trade–offs associated with these options.
December 30, 2003 - The value of the EZC program is quite dependent on the goals that the Legislature wishes to achieve. Available evidence generally indicates that EZ incentives have little if any impact on the creation of new economic activity or employment. On the other hand, EZ incentives do appear to be effective in increasing economic activity within smaller geographic areas—such as within metropolitan regions.