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Oklahoma Officials Evaluate Film Tax Credit Programs

1 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

Joining many other states that are questioning just how effective their incentives for film production are, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry (D) has proposed elimination of the program and State Treasurer Scott Meacham is pushing for oversight improvements of a related venture capital investment credit that many film productions take. From the Oklahoman:

Lawmakers last year increased the film rebate to 35 percent, up from 15 percent. Producers can get an additional 2 percent rebate if they use Oklahoma music in their films. The state put a cap on the film rebate at $5 million per year.

The reporter adds some good links on his blog.

The Director of the Film Office argues that the credit attracts economic activity that wouldn’t occur otherwise. That may or may not be true, but that doesn’t explain why rewarding just the film industry with preferential taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. treatment is the best way to achieve economic growth.

As we detailed in our recent report on film tax credits, that method almost certainly is not. Because of fierce interstate competition for film productions, film incentive programs are a poor use of states’ tax dollars and resources.

More on film tax credits here.

More on Oklahoma here.