Ohio Film Industry - Other States Move Further, While Ohio Governor Rejects A First Step Ahead With His Veto

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 20:31.

In the same week that Ohio Governor Strickland vetoes a bill to create a tax credit for those creating film and video production jobs in Ohio, the Illinois Governor (yeah, that guy, the one who's been in the news lately), signed a bill to expand their 20% tax credit to 30%. Do you think he knows something that Governor Strickland does not?

According to Illinois development officials and their May report, the film industry generated $155 million in 2007, the best single year in Illinois history, an 80% increase over 2006. The film industry impact on the Illinois economy is significant, with more than 26,500 hires in Illinois in 2007, a 110% increase over 2006. Currently, more than 40 states (but not Ohio) offer film incentives.

Local leaders of the film industry, including Cuyahoga Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, http://www.cleveland.com/plaindealer/stories/index.ssf?/base/opinion/122...)">wrote in support

of the film industry in this morning's Plain Dealer. In vetoing the film incentive bill, Governor Strickland argued that the money wasn't an effective investment. If that's so, why are the other states going in the opposite direction to create jobs in their communities?

Film credits

  Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said the governor opposes the bill, House Bill 196, because it was passed as a stand-alone tax break and because the tax credits are transferable from company to company, which he sees as fiscally irresponsible.

Kevin, do you see glaring loopholes in this legislation that would allow abuse?  I haven't made it my cause to investigate this legislation, but on the whole, in my humble opinion,  this tax credit would seem to be a NEO PLUS.  I don't see it hurting ME, like, say... the land bank will hurt ME.

Film Industry Credits Make Sense

>I am remiss in not replying to some comments favoring the Governor for to veto the film tax credit legislation (I don't believe he has vetoed the bill, even at this stage).  Some of the Governor’s concerns will be very positive developments for Ohio.  The Governor says "out of state" taxpayers will benefit from the credit.  Well, I certainly hope so!  If the credit is transferable, CA film people (or anyone needing tax credits) could invest in Ohio films and video arts.  This is the tool to generate substantial investment.  The goal isn't just to get Ohioans to invest in producing movies, but to bring in outside dollars to invest in Ohio production jobs. One of the hardest things in growing any new industry is keeping people -- talented people with needed skills who could be anywhere -- and keeping them employed and secure, while the industry grows.  Right now, in Ohio, the film jobs are few and far between.  The talent pool, which serves as a base for any film activity, have difficulty supporting themselves. If the outside investment can help support the activity at a higher level, the industry can get a chance to grow.  I would even hope that a credit match system could develop, linking people with money to invest and people with a credit to offer.  The credit could help create a “film production infrastructure,” that could be the basis for movies and more movies.

I'm with Strickland on

I'm with Strickland on this.

It's time these give-aways - with plenty of room for corruption and abuse - were stopped.

Giving film-makers a tax break they can sell is just an invitation to game-playing.

What about the land bank bill...

  Roldo, tell me that you don't see an opportunity for corruption and abuse in the recently passed land bank legislation? 

Some of the people here at RealNEO recently had a face-to-face.  JeffB brought up a very good suggestion for the Plain Dealer.  On a weekly basis, publish the City of Cleveland Buildings and Housings Department list of impending demolitions.  As residents, we have a right to know when the bulldozers will next strike our neighborhood. 

It seems that any state legislation crafted in Ohio has its share of "hidden agenda."  The film industry's "hidden agenda" does not seem as transparent to me as the land bank bill's "hidden agenda."  Scrap both pieces of legislation, but to me, it's just a question of which is the lesser of two evils masquarading as a solution?