Growing up in Ashtabula County, I always liked going with my friends and family to see a movie on the weekend. Afterward, we would have a conversation about whether the film was good or bad and why. This is a longtime tradition that people still enjoy from the earliest days of the movie theater.

But there’s more value to movies than just the good times they bring. It’s a huge industry, and it’s important that our state capitalizes on it in any way that we can. I was pleased that the budget passed in 2009 established the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. This tax credit provides an incentive for those who are making films to come to Ohio and film, because here they can save money.

Like any industry, it’s important that we keep our state as competitive as possible. Although Ohio is one of 38 states that offer this kind of tax credit, the House recently voted on legislation—House Bill 521—to reauthorize the credit and increase the total amount from $20 million to $40 million per fiscal biennium.

I’m confident that this change will bring even more film makers to our state. Already, the tax credit has attracted nearly 30 film productions. These include such popular movies as “The Avengers” and “the Ides of March.” With an increased amount of funding, Ohio will be all the more competitive in attracting film makers to visit our vast landscape.

One of the added benefits of movies being filmed here is the fact that it will boost nearby business. Not only is it likely materials and supplies will be needed from local stores, but the casts and crew will take advantage of our restaurants, hotels, and tourism hotspots.

A recent study by Cleveland State University’s Center for Economic Development discovered that the film tax credit created more than 9,000 jobs in Ohio, spending $19.5 million on wages and $53.6 million on support services. Each dollar invested in the tax credit brought $1.20 back to our economy.

The Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit was worth pursuing when it was first put into the budget in 2009, and we must keep at it. Because of the tax credit, our state is boosting economic development and more jobs are being created. With the opportunity for our economy to grow and prosper, drawing in film makers is one more step in improving Ohio.

With our state already recognizable for locations in films such as The Shawshank Redemption and A Christmas Story, I’m confident that in the future, Ohioans will have all the more movies to watch and say, “I’ve been there!”


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