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Bill Would Expand Ohio's Motion Picture Tax Credits and Add Broadway Shows

photo of film
Ohio's motion picture tax credit was enacted in 2009. It lets production companies recoup 30 percent of in-state expenses.

A Stark County lawmaker is proposing an expansion of Ohio’s tax credit for motion pictures produced in the state.

H.B. 525 would more than double the current motion picture tax credit from $40 million to $100 million. It also awards credits twice annually for productions that spend at least $300,000 in-state.

According to a recent study by the University of Southern California, targeted credits in other states have had a modest effect on employment and wages for entertainment industry workers. Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring is sponsoring the bill and says producers applying for Ohio’s credit need to show a return on the state’s investment.

“The producers have to show that we’re going to get a great return on our investment," Schuring said. "We’re not going to let it be as it has been in the past: first come, first served.”

Under the current tax credit, producers only have one opportunity each year to apply. Schuring's bill lets production companies apply every six months.

“You have to be nimble when these major motion picture productions want to come to Ohio," Schuring said. "It’s been very disheartening in that we’ve had several come to us since the beginning of the new fiscal year in July and we’ve had to turn them down because we don’t have any tax credits.”

The bill also extends the tax credit to Broadway shows that run six shows a week for more than five weeks. Workshop productions headed to New York would also qualify.