State tax incentives bring filming back to Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- New tax incentives have brought back big productions to Santa Clarita and provided a major boost to the local economy.

The city previously served as the backdrop for several films and television series including "Old Yeller" and "Gunsmoke."

However, over the decades, production stagnated as other states began offering generous tax incentives.

California legislators have now reversed the trend with a boost to the state's tax deal for local filming.

Evan Thomason heads the Santa Clarita Film Office, which he said has issued an average of more than 500 film permits and 1,300 film days a year for the past three years.

The result of filming last year has translated into a $33 million economic impact, according to the film office.

"The California film incentive program is a big part of why we've seen so many productions come to Santa Clarita," Thomason said.

The city has attracted shows, including HBO's "Westworld" and the new Netflix series "Santa Clarita Diet."

"We have over 20 sound stages. We have over 10 movie ranches, and we have a very diverse community," Thomason said.

The heavily used ranches include the 200-acre Rancho Deluxe film ranch owned by Steve Arklin.

"We have forests, we have desert, we have houses and western towns, and it's a diverse look," Alkin said.

The owner shared how he has seen the increased business effects at his and other movie ranches due to tax incentives, along with the rest of the community.

"Within the past couple years I've seen a lot of feature films starting to stay here," Alkin said. "Gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores - the whole community benefits from having these people here."
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