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Economy

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Eliminating Film Tax Credit

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KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The movie “I Am Wrath” starring John Travolta was shot in part at the Statehouse in March 2015. ";s:

The House version of the two-year state budget eliminates a tax break that has been both praised by fans and panned by critics – a $40 million tax credit for the movie industry.

Both researchers from the left and right say it doesn’t pay off.

Wendy Patton with the progressive Policy Matters Ohio says a study from Cleveland State found most of the jobs created by the state’s motion picture tax credit were temporary, and that film tax credits haven’t worked well for other states either.

“There hasn't been a big enough return on investment and it becomes more and more expensive with each widening.”

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Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
A movie shoot at the Statehouse in Columbus.

Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute opposes the credit because he says the state shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.

“I do have to just say we're not going to become the Hollywood of the Midwest with this thing. That's just not going to happen.”

While the elimination of the credit is in the House version of the budget, there’s also a bill that would more than double it to $100 million.