Other California Film Incentives
California Film Commission Services
- Free permits for California State properties including freeways, roads, beaches, parks, buildings and facilities.
- No location fees for California State properties. Most properties require reimbursement for monitors.
- One-stop film office for California State properties.
- On site location library and CinemaScout.
- On site California Highway Patrol (CHP) Film Liaison available to assist with filming on State freeways and highways. This liaison also arranges CHP officers to monitor film shoots.
- On site California State Fire Marshal available to provide advice and approval for pyrotechnics and other special effect permits for State properties.
- Coordination with more than 55 in-state film commissions. CFC emails customized location requests to designated film commission offices.
- Production and troubleshooting assistance.
County Incentives and Fee Exemptions
Updated June 15, 2021
The City of Los Angeles and LA County
The City of Los Angeles provides, free use of any available, city-owned locations for filming, including the iconic Los Angeles City Hall. Visit FilmL.A. to find a free filming location and arrange to use it in your next film production.
Entertainment Production Tax Cap: Tax liability is $145 for the first $5 million in production cost plus $1.30 for each additional $1,000 or fractional part thereof (maximum tax liability not to exceed $9,100).
Business Tax Exemptions: Business tax exemptions are available for qualifying new businesses, small businesses, and creative artists. Reduced tax rates are available to motion picture production businesses as well as businesses taxed on gross receipts.
Creative Artist Tax Exemption: No tax is required to be paid by a person for gross receipts attributable to “Creative Activities” unless the total taxable and nontaxable gross receipts exceed $300,000 annually.
City of Santa Clarita: Offers a three-part film incentive program that subsidizes/refunds basic permit fees for California Film & TV Tax Credit Program approved productions; provides partial refunds of Transient Occupancy (Hotel) Taxes. Visit the Santa Clarita Film Office for more information.
Riverside County has waived all of their film permit fees in the unincorporated county and are offering free use of County owned properties for projects lasting 10 days or less. Visit the Riverside County Film Commission for more information. Visit the Riverside County Film Commission for more information.
CITIES IN RIVERSIDE COUNTY
City of Hemet: No permit fees; no fees for filming on city-owned property.
City of San Jacinto: No film permit fees; no fees for filming on city-owned property.
City of Temecula: No film permit fees.
San Bernardino County
City of Needles: No film permit fees.
San Francisco City and County
The Scene in San Francisco rebate program offers a refund of up to $600,000 on any fees paid to the City of San Francisco for a scripted or unscripted television episode or feature length film or documentary. This can include permit fees, payroll tax, up to 4 police officers per day, City owned locations, City owned production office and stage space, street closures, etc. To qualify, productions with budgets under $3 million must shoot 55% in San Francisco; budgets over $3 million must shoot 65% in San Francisco. San Francisco also has a Vendor Discount Program, offering 10-30% off hotels, restaurants, production services, car rentals, and a 5% discount on Virgin America, and a 5-13% discount on United Airlines. Visit Film SF for more information.
Santa Barbara County
The Santa Barbara County Media Production Incentive Program provides a cash rebate to still photo campaigns, commercials, unscripted television, scripted television, and feature films. It is the only program in the State to provide incentives to still photo and commercial production. The incentive provides a cash rebate for permit fees and 50% of affiliated CHP, Sheriff, or PD costs. Program is capped at $50,000 per year. Visit the Santa Barbara Film Commission for more information.
Film Shasta covering 100% of permit application fees.
Film Incentive Program: Grants up to $50,000 available (regardless of type of production). Production must contact Film Shasta for complete details of incentive qualifications to determine eligibility in advance of project’s start date in Shasta County. Visit the Shasta County Film Commission.
Additional Incentives, Tax Breaks, and Exemptions
Financial Incentive - The STAR Partnership
The State Theatrical Arts Resources (STAR) Partnership is a unique program that offers filmmakers access to unused, distinctive State-owned properties (e.g., health facilities, vacant office structures, prisons, etc.) for cost recovery expenses only, thus helping production companies to substantially cut below-the-line expenses. Permits for STAR properties are also obtained through the CFC.
No State hotel tax on occupancy. Most cities or counties that impose a local hotel tax have a tax exemption for occupancies in excess of 30 days.
Teleproduction Sales Tax Exemption
State Rev & Tax Code Section 6378 allows a partial (5.25%) sales tax exemption for the purchase of teleproduction and post production equipment to businesses primarily engaged in teleproduction and post production activities when that property is used 50 percent or more in those activities (as described in Code 512191 of the North American Industry Classification System Manual). This exemption is taken by the seller and passed on to the buyer of the equipment at the point of purchase. CFC prepared a document detailing teleproduction sales tax exemption. Visit the Revenue Tax Code 6378 for further information.