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$40 Mil Motion Picture Tax Credit Saved

Hope Madden Hope Madden $40 Mil Motion Picture Tax Credit SavedShawshank Redemption (1994) is one of many movies filmed or partially filmed in Ohio.
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Earlier this year, the Greater Columbus Film Commission was hoping to convince legislature to increase — perhaps even double — the state’s $40 million motion picture tax credit, a tax rebate meant to attract film and media projects.

Much to the surprise of John Daugherty, Executive Director of the film commission, the credit was instead eliminated from the House version of the 2020 budget.

“The credit provides a 30 percent tax rebate to qualifying productions,” explains John Daugherty, Executive Director of the film commission. “It’s instituted to promote job creation and positive economic impact in the state of Ohio.”

“When it was eliminated from the House version, it really caught everybody off guard,” he says.

But the fight was far from over.

“Once the House version is submitted, that version goes to the Senate,” Daugherty explains. “We got together with the other film commissions and the industry as a whole around the state and wrote letters to the Senate to prove our point as to why this is good for Ohio.”

According to Daugherty, three economic impact studies were conducted, independent from one another, and each came to the same conclusion.

“For every dollar spent there was $1.90 put back into the economy,” he says, pointing specifically to 6,000 full time equivalent positions across the state.

“The impact expands even more when you start including businesses,” he says. “If we had three to four films and a TV series, those jobs could become full time and all those people could work year round in the industry.”

Other locals would benefit as well, Daugherty says.

“The economic impact when it comes to hotels, restaurants – it’s just exponential,” he says.

“It’s a no brainer when you look at the numbers.”

Daugherty and the Greater Columbus Film Commission again joined forces with other statewide film commissions in a lobbying effort to have the credit reinserted into the Senate version of the budget.

“It was really a big deal for us. All the film commissions got together and worked to get this done,” he says. “We testified in front of the Senate and literally hundreds of people showed up from around the state to support us.

The effort paid off.

“We made our voices heard and the Senate put it back into their budget.”

Thanks to the group effort, the $40 million Motion Picture Tax Credit remains in Ohio’s 2020 budget. Relieved, Daugherty says they’ll push forward to ensure the 2022 budget continues to provide such incentives to filmmakers

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly movie review podcast, THE SCREENING ROOM.

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