Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oregon Lawmakers Advance Film Subsidy Extension

by admin

Lana spoke with AP journalist Jonathan Cooper after testifying at Friday’s hearing on HB 2167 in Salem.

Oregon Lawmakers Advance Film Subsidy Extension
Oregon House committee votes to extend incentives for film, television production
The Associated Press
By Jonathan J. Cooper
April 1, 2011

SALEM, Ore. A state House committee on Friday advanced a plan to extend tax incentives credited with luring Hollywood producers to Oregon.

The tax credits will expire Jan. 1 unless lawmakers vote to extend them. The Transportation and Economic Development Committee voted 6-9 to support an extension and sent the bill to a joint tax-credit review committee, which will iron out key details including how much the program will cost.

The 8-year-old Oregon Production Investment Fund reimburses film and television producers for up to 10 percent of wages and benefits for Oregon-based workers, and 20 percent of other expenses incurred in Oregon.

Money in the fund comes largely from donations from individuals and corporations, who get a tax credit to offset their gift, plus an additional 5 percent to 11 percent.

For donors to the fund, HB 2167 would extend the tax credits through 2017. Proponents initially proposed increasing the total available funding from $7.5 million per year to $20 million per year, but the committee on Friday stripped the maximum cost from the bill for a future decision.

Supporters say the film subsidies create jobs on film crews and draw Hollywood visitors to local hotels and restaurants.

“This is going to be the biggest year ever for Oregon film, and it’s 100 percent thanks to the film incentives,” said Lana Veenker, a Portland casting firm owner who has done work for TNT drama “Leverage” and the NBC pilot “Grimm,” among other productions.

Link to full article.