Ohio General Assembly considers increasing state's Motion Picture Tax Credit

Ohio doubled credit to $40M in 2016
Posted at 6:21 AM, Mar 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 18:27:38-05

CINCINNATI -- A new bill before the Ohio General Assembly would more than double the state's Motion Picture Tax Credit and would make some Broadway shows eligible for the benefit.

Currently at $40 million per year, the credit would increase to $100 million annually under House Bill 525, according to Kristen Schlotman, executive director at Film Cincinnati. The state legislature doubled it from $20 million in June 2016.

“This legislation is a reflection of the input I have received from Film Cincinnati Executive Director Kristen Schlotman, and others, regarding how we can make Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit a more effective tool in bringing motion picture productions to our state and accordingly, boost our state and local economies,” said Rep. Kirk Schuring, a Canton Republican who recently visited Broadway.

Broadway plays and musicals that run in Ohio for at least five weeks, with at least six performances a week, would qualify for the credit under HB 525 as well as productions known as "adaptive versions," which show off-Broadway to work out kinks before opening in New York City.

“This new language will make us one of the most competitive states in the country,” Schlotman said. “We have already proven that our clients are not one-offs, they continue to come back and spend money, if not move here. This enhancement in the motion picture program will allow us to be a world class destination for all things production.”

Schuring wants his bill to create a permanent Ohio workforce in film, TV and live theater jobs such as lighting and stage techs.

The tax credit would be distributed twice a year, instead of the current annual award. Schuring said a twice yearly distribution allows the credit to be more flexible to award money as new projects arise.

The bill requires applicants to show the positive economic impact their production would have on the state, and productions will receive money based on their impact. Schuring will invite Broadway producers to testify for the General Assembly in advance of the vote.

Film Cincinnati is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to attracting, promoting and cultivating film, television and commercial production throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Since its beginning in 1987, Film Cincinnati has brought hundreds of films to Greater Cincinnati, plus thousands of commercials, music videos, documentaries and industrials. Learn more at filmcincinnati.com