Written by Tom Deehan on Jan 3, 2017. Posted in Incentive News

Oklahoma film incentive should be left to sunset in 2024, says report

The Incentive Evaluation Commission has filed a report, advising lawmakers to allow Oklahoma’s film incentive to sunset in 2024. While the report itself isn’t legally binding, it could influence lawmakers to cease funding for the incentive when the sunset date arrives.

Fully titled the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate, the incentive was installed in 2015 to entice more out-of-state productions to use Oklahoma as a filming location. The programme offers a 35% tax rebate with a 2% uplift if locally sourced music is used in the final product.

Productions must have a budget of at least USD50,000 and incur a minimum spend of USD25,000 to qualify for the incentive.

Ray Hoyt, President of Visit Tulsa has spoke out against the report, proclaiming: “we haven't had the opportunity to really start to rebuild that industry and to incubate it back in Oklahoma, and it takes time to get back to those Producers and Directors and make them more aware of what Tulsa and Oklahoma has for film sites.”

Adding to the sentiments, Abby Kurin of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts and Culture explains: “utilising our locations as well as our crew, which is a big deal. It's a big deal to our industry as we're working to develop and grow, provide more resources. To lose this incentive would be, really, catastrophic to that development.”

The Jury Prize winning American Honey (pictured) was recently shot in Muskogee, while Bryan Fuller’s upcoming television series, American Gods, filmed in Ponca City.

Due to the appeal of tax incentives to Producers, dismantling the programme is sure to have a negative effect on Oklahoma’s economy and production industry. Florida has suffered such setbacks after its own incentive was left to expire, driving business elsewhere in the process.


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