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Oklahoma Senate Passes Film Tax Rebate Bill

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Oklahoma Senate Passes Film Tax Rebate Bill

Post by Mazy on Sat 29 Mar 2014, 23:43

Oklahoma Senate Passes Film Tax Rebate Bill

A tax incentive bill designed to attract more movie productions to Oklahoma passed the state Senate on Thursday, despite complaints from some senators that Hollywood has painted an unflattering image of the state.

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By Randy Ellis Modified: March 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm •  Published: March 27, 2014

A bill to extend a tax incentive program designed to attract more movie productions to Oklahoma passed the state Senate on Thursday, despite complaints from some senators that Hollywood has painted an unflattering image of the state.

This image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, producers George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and actresses Meryl Streep, and Julianne Nicholson on the set of "August: Osage County." Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture musical or comedy for her role in the film. (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Claire Folger)
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 31-11. It will now be sent to the governor, who previously said she supports the program.

State Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, argued against the measure, complaining about the rebate money that went to filmmakers for “August: Osage County,” a movie that portrayed a dysfunctional Oklahoma family.

The filmmaker spent $15,321,345 in Oklahoma, including $12,542,157 in qualifying expenditures. It received a rebate of $4,640,598, according to Leslie Channell, deputy director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts starred in the movie.

“That (rebate) money would essentially go to the Weinstein Company. Harvey Weinstein was the producer,” Dahm complained. “This is a man who has a net worth of $150 million.”

Dahm said Weinstein gave $75,000 to Democratic candidates in 2012, including $35,800 directly to Barack Obama.

Dahm facetiously suggested the state would be better off to keep the $5 million a year it spends on the film rebate program and “donate this $35,800 directly to Hillary’s 2016 campaign.” The remaining money could be used to pay for funding things like education or corrections, he said.

State Sen. Wayne Shaw, R-Grove, also debated against the bill, saying he went to a free screening of “August: Osage County.”

“I wanted my money back and I got in free,” Shaw said. “I really hope that we don’t put a presentation out there to the world that Oklahoma is ‘August: Osage County.’.... I’ve lost confidence in the movie industry.”

State Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, debated in favor of the bill.

“If you don’t like the movies that Hollywood makes, then I would encourage more Oklahoma filmmakers to make Oklahoma films with Oklahoma values,” Jolley said. “This is not a bill to give money to any set group. It’s a bill that is designed to attract all the people in the industry of film and music to be able to flourish in Oklahoma ... as they are in many other states.”

The bill would extend for 10 years a program that allows filmmakers to receive tax rebates of up to $5 million a year on money spent on movie and commercial productions in Oklahoma. Filmmakers would be allowed to recoup 35 percent of the amount they spend in the state, subject to program limits.

Extra percentages can be rebated when music produced in Oklahoma is used in films. The $5 million rebate limit is a cumulative limit for all film productions in Oklahoma each year, not the amount each company can receive.
The current program is set to expire July 1.


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Mazy
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Re: Oklahoma Senate Passes Film Tax Rebate Bill

Post by Nicky80 on Sun 30 Mar 2014, 13:33

Thanks Mazy, interesting article....
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