More States Abandon Film Tax Incentives as Programs’ Ineffectiveness Becomes More Apparent, Except Ohio

Film tax credits fail to live up to their promises to encourage economic growth overall and to raise tax revenue. States claim these incentives create jobs, but the jobs created are mostly temporary positions, often transplanted from other states. Furthermore, the competition among states transfers a large portion of potential gains to the movie industry, not to local businesses or state coffers.

In 2010, a record 40 states offered $1.4 billion in film and television tax incentives. All told, states have provided nearly $6 billion for such programs over the past decade. 2010 will likely stand as the peak year, since many governors and legislators are ending their programs, preferring to use the money for other priorities or leave it with taxpayers.

Thus far, 17 states have either cut or cut back their funding for the film and television tax incentive programs.

After early indications that he might challenge the program, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) sought no changes.

In March, the Dayton Daily News reported about the relief of the many Dayton area art, film and tv production organizations. Many are supported by the Ohio Art Council.

Although an economic development boom the art and film industry is an overstatement, the many organizations do provide both meaningful employment and volunteer work for a substantial number of area residents. One such organization is the Xenia Area Community Theatre.

Source: Fiscal Facts,Tax Foundation, June 2, 2011

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