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Local/State Film Advocates to Testify Before Ways and Means Today

This week the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University issued a report that said Ohio's tax lures for movie-makers have led to work for thousands of people, and millions of dollars in economic impact.

Today (Wednesday and Thursday) film industry advocates are at the Ohio Statehouse to talk to lawmakers about increasing the amount of tax-credits available to film-makers.  Executive Director of Film Dayton, Megan Cooper is making the trip.  Today she’ll testify before the House Ways and Means Committee about the benefits brought by the tax incentives.

"Commercials, documentaries, feature films, Indie films, and a lot of great stuff has happened, but unfortunately the tax incentive capped out in the first two weeks of the fiscal year because it was so low. So many more films wanted to take advantage of Ohio's talented cast and crew, and the location, and the low cost of living, just everything we've got here.  So this plea to the Ohio Statehouse is to say 'Hey, let's up the cap for the Ohio motion-picture tax credit.  It's been capped at 10 million dollars, let's double that and we'll double the money that's coming in."

The Cleveland study also shows that for each dollar of state tax breaks, a $1.20 came back into the state economy.  It also suggests that since 2009 more than 1,100 full-time jobs and 9,000 temporary jobs were created.  And no matter where those jobs were created – Cooper says everyone in the State benefits.

"Even though there wasn't a film in the Miami Valley specifically that was able to take advantage of the motion-picture tax credit, there's a new buzz happening, there's excitement.  People are realizing that Ohio is indeed a state for film, and we anticipate with the cap being raised, the Miami Valley become much more competitive in that."

Megan Cooper with Film Dayton. Two bills aimed at increasing the film tax credit are making rounds in the legislature – House Bill 521 and Senate Bill 331