, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

March 4, 2014

House blocks extension of moviemaker tax credit

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House defeated legislation Monday that would have extended a tax credit program for the film industry after opponents argued that tax dollars that pay for the program would be better spent on core state services.

House members voted 48-43 for the measure — three short of the 51 votes needed to pass in the 101-member House. Its author, Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada, kept the measure alive by serving notice that he will ask the chamber to reconsider the vote.

Thomsen said the state provides rebates to filmmakers amounting to $1 for every $3 they spend on movie productions in the state, up to a total of $5 million. The program is scheduled to expire July 1. Thomsen’s bill would extend the credit by 10 years.

The Oklahoma Film & Music Office, which works to attract the film, television, video, and music industries to Oklahoma, estimates the incentive program had a direct economic impact of $35.1 million last year through spending on items such as catering, housing, set production and lighting for productions, Thomsen said.

Total economic impact, which includes economic activity indirectly related to movie productions, is estimated at $88.9 million.

“It’s been a successful program,” said Thomsen, who said the rebate program is modest compared with those offered by other states. “It is having a positive impact in our state.”

But opponents criticized the program as a wasteful use of tax dollars that could be better spent on such things as public safety and education.

“It’s not our money; it belongs to the taxpayer,” Rep. Dave Dank, R-Oklahoma City, said. “Say no to Hollywood.”

The state film office was closed Monday because of a weekend snowstorm, and a telephone call to Jill Simpson, director of the office, was not immediately returned.

Dank and other opponents said “August: Osage County,” an adaptation of an award-winning play that was released in December, benefited from the credit. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were among its big-budget stars, and George Clooney was a producer.

Dank said the state has a lot to offer but that the movie did not portray the state or its people in a constructive way.

“Don’t expect us to pay for a film about a dysfunctional family,” Dank said. “We don’t want any of that.”

Text Only
Oklahoma News
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.