Ohio's Film Industry Would Be Decimated By Ending Tax Credit, Advocates Say | WOSU Radio

Ohio's Film Industry Would Be Decimated By Ending Tax Credit, Advocates Say

May 6, 2019

The Ohio House's version of the proposed state budget has put the $40 million-per-year film tax credit on the chopping block. With both progressive and conservative groups in favor of dropping the tax credit, Ohio's film industry is getting nervous.

If the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit goes away, Greater Cleveland Film Commission President Ivan Schwarz thinks local workers will pay the price.

"(Ohio's film industry) is straight-up manufacturing,” Schwarz says. “It’s manufacturing 2019, but it’s manufacturing.”

He compares axing the film tax credit to General Motors closing its production plant in Lordstown.

"Your friends, my friends, people working in your neighborhood, people living in your neighborhood, people shopping at your grocery store—those are the people who are making, helping make this product,” he says.

Schwarz points to the 5,800 full-time equivalent jobs the film industry has been responsible for since 2009 as reason enough not to just save the tax credit—but to expand it.

A separate House bill that’s been sitting in committee since March would more than double the tax credit to $100 million.

The House could vote on the proposed budget as soon as this week.