PBJ: Tax credits and the advantage of being in Oregon

Erik Siemers of the Portland Business Journal, who recently interviewed Lana on Oregon’s film tax incentive program, now speaks to Travis Knight of LAIKA to get his take.

Over the last few months, I’ve interviewed several people connected to Portland’s film industry who said — appropriately, as if from a script — that the state must expand or lift its cap on production tax credits in order for the industry here to grow.

The Oregon Production Investment Fund offers film productions a 20 percent tax credit on all goods and services purchased in the state and 10 percent tax credit on labor costs. But it’s capped at $10 million in credits per year. Between recurring series’ like “Portlandia,” “Grimm” and “The Librarians,” the fund is tapped pretty quickly.

“Grimm” casting director Lana Veenker and “Librarians” producer Dean Devlin have each told me this year why it’s a no-brainer to expand the program. Veenker said the state has lost productions written specifically for Portland because of the cap. Devlin told me he’d “be the first guy to break ground and build a studio if that limit ever got raised.”

When I had the chance to sit down with Travis Knight, CEO of Hillsboro-based stop-motion animation studio Laika Inc., I wanted to ask the same thing.

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