I think it is a source of great pride that The Avengers, which crushed box office records during its opening weekend, was filmed mostly in Ohio. The movie grossed better than $207 million in the opening weekend and some estimates expect it might surpass greater than $1 billion within its first month in theaters.

When people think about our state, few probably think of it as a hot spot for filming movies, but it has been home to some impressive works of cinema over the years, including classics like A Christmas Story and The Shawshank Redemption.

 These films are not only great sources of entertainment, however. They also provide a boost to local economies across Ohio. But like anything else, the film industry is a competitive business, with states throughout the country bidding for the opportunity to have filmmakers choose their state over the others.

Included in last year’s budget was a $20 million film tax credit, which would be used to encourage film producers to come to Ohio. The film tax credit, introduced in 2010, has been a great success for the state of Ohio, but the money usually runs out pretty quickly. Obviously, when faced with the choice of going to a state that can offer a tax credit or going to a state without a tax credit, you can probably guess where the film industry usually goes.

Therefore, a proposal was made in both the Ohio House and Senate to increase the tax credit from $20 million per biennium to $40 million. Of course, it is always important to ask whether a certain tax credit is worthwhile. In order to determine whether a tax credit is worth considering, the return on investment makes all the difference.

What we have seen with the film tax credit is that is presents great economic advantages for the state. Every dollar invested in the film industry brings back $1.20. Additionally, the films produced in Ohio have created more than 1,100 full-time equivalent jobs.

But the impact that this industry has on other sectors of the economy might be even more impressive. Restaurants near the areas of filming experience increased traffic and boosts in sales. Businesses that provide raw materials and supplies to the film set also benefit from new revenue sources. The benefits of film production are wide-ranging and definitely worth pursuing.

Movies aren’t just meant for California and New York. Ohio can be a competitive force in the film industry, which is an exciting prospect for both avid movie-goers and the state’s economy.


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