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FilmLA To Raise Permit Fees, Citing Production Slump & Rising Costs

FilmLA is raising its fees next month, citing rising costs and the continuing downturn in Los Angeles on-location film and TV production. The city and county film-permitting office said today that it is imposing a roughly 4% increase effective July 1.

The permit application fee will be $931, with various other rates increasing as well. See a chart of FilmLA’s basic-fee hikes below.

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The nonprofit organization cited “the observed, multi-year pattern of production decline in Greater Los Angeles,” along with increasing costs for its business. FilmLA also noted higher costs of its employees’ wages and benefits, which it says comprises nearly 80% of its annual operating budget and is projected to increase significantly in the coming fiscal year.

The move comes as the local film and TV biz is reeling from the effects of last year’s long WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes and overall Hollywood contraction and still struggling with post-Covid production recovery. FilmLA noted that it receives no state or local government funding for its service and also is affected by periods of work disruption.

RELATED: L.A.’s Scripted Film & TV Production Growth Lags Far Behind That Of Competitors, Such As Georgia And The U.K., Says New FilmLA Report

“We recognize that news of a fee increase is never welcome, and we appreciate our customers’ understanding,” FilmLA President Paul Audley said in a statement. “We would not increase fees without first finding ways to significantly reduce our operating costs, including downsizing our office space and right-sizing our workforce, as we have already done. Ultimately, these adjustments are necessary to sustain the people and programs that keep Los Angeles accessible to filmmakers, including rapid-turnaround permit processing, free production planning assistance and comprehensive community relations including Neighborhood Notification and On-Location Monitoring.”

Its board of directors — which comprises industry representatives including studio, independent and commercial production executives, industry labor representatives and community representatives — evaluates the need for service rate adjustments each fiscal year.

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