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Ohio Lawmakers Consider Eliminating Film Tax Credit

The movie “I Am Wrath” starring John Travolta was shot in part at the Statehouse in March 2015. ";s:

The House version of the two-year state budget eliminates a tax break that has been both praised by fans and panned by critics – a $40 million tax credit for the movie industry.

Both researchers from the left and right say it doesn’t pay off.

Wendy Patton with the progressive Policy Matters Ohio says a study from Cleveland State found most of the jobs created by the state’s motion picture tax credit were temporary, and that film tax credits haven’t worked well for other states either.

“There hasn't been a big enough return on investment and it becomes more and more expensive with each widening.”

A movie shoot at the Statehouse in Columbus.

Greg Lawson with the conservative Buckeye Institute opposes the credit because he says the state shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.

“I do have to just say we're not going to become the Hollywood of the Midwest with this thing. That's just not going to happen.”

While the elimination of the credit is in the House version of the budget, there’s also a bill that would more than double it to $100 million.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.