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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Slimmed Down Film Tax Credit Wins Support

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Looks like Portland will be getting Grimm and Portlandia crews on its streets for another year—the Oregon House just overwhelmingly passed a bill that preserves the Oregon Film and Video tax credit, but cuts $1 million from its budget.

The film tax credit came under fire earlier this year when the Oregon Center for Public Policy published a report on the tax credit being a bad use of public money.

The bill that just passed the house this afternoon could solve those complaints, since it offers the legislature the option of making the $6 million annual film incentives a direct payment rather than a tax credit.

While that's a cut from the $7.5 million the state used to put into film incentives annually, this is actually surprisingly good news for the film industry. The bill that includes the money for the film inventive cuts the total dollar amount spent on tax credits from $40 million a year to $10 million, so film and video snagging 60 percent of that money is huge.

Office of Film and Video Director Vince Porters says that demand for the credit has long out-stripped supply, so the cutback will reduce the number of projects able to shoot in Oregon.

The bill also revamps the controversial Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC), splitting it into three different credits that are each capped at a certain dollar amount, after the credit for green energy programs blew up from costing $79 million a year to $290 million.

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