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Critics Target Ohio's Film Tax Credit Expansion

Policy Matters Ohio logo

State lawmakers are looking over a bill that would more than triple the tax credits offered to movie makers who film in Ohio. But critics on the left and the right are saying the program should be cut.

The bill would offer those who make movies in Ohio up to $75 million in transferable tax credits – up from $20 million now. A study from Cleveland State last year said there’s $2 in economic activity for every dollar spent in movie tax credits.

But Wendy Patton with the progressive-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio disputes that study, and says the film tax credits are sold off to investors at a discount, so they’re a bad deal for the state.

“The leakiness of this financial mechanism is unparalleled and a waste of taxpayer money.”

Conservative groups have raised similar concerns. Patton suggests a grant program instead, which she says would be more transparent and easier to understand.