LA Councilman Proposes Waiving Fees on TV Pilots

SOURCE: NBC Los Angeles

With more TV shows leaving LA to film in other cities, City Councilman Eric Garcetti has a plan to keep them in town.

Garcetti proposed the city eliminate fees on TV pilots. The proposal would waive permit fees for shooting on city-owned property, and it would provide free support services.

"We've lost 160,000 jobs in the last 30 years," Garcetti said. "It's because many times we're charging fees, we're charging taxes that chase business away."

Years ago, 80 percent of all pilots were filmed in Los Angeles. That number has dropped dramatically, down to 42 percent, according to Film LA, the non-profit group that coordinates location permits in the city.

"Right now the city charges a pilot for having representatives from the fire department and inspectors from our city departments," Garcetti said. "This would say, if you're filming a pilot here, that's on us. We want you to stay here and create jobs."

The state of California offers tax credits and incentives to attract films, but Garcetti thinks more needs to be done for TV production if Hollywood is going to remain the center of the entertainment industry.

"If we can spend a little money waiving those fees and making Los Angeles the most film friendly and cheapest place to film a pilot, then we think that we'll have a good chance of taking those middle class jobs that are part of Hollywood and keeping them here," Garcetti said.

The city council will vote on the proposal in October, just in time for pilot season.

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