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As Iowa, Louisiana learned, film tax rebate program can be abused

Oklahoman Published: March 19, 2014

Supporters of Oklahoma’s film tax rebate have had a rough month. The rebate initially failed to pass out of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, then was revived on a second attempt. It still has to clear the Senate to remain in place.

Still, supporters of the Oklahoma tax credit should keep this in mind: Things could be worse. Just ask officials in Louisiana and Iowa.

Thanks in part to its tax credit, Louisiana saw the number of films shot in that state surge from one in 2002 to 118 in 2010. Yet in 2009, an official who formerly led efforts to lure those productions to Louisiana was sentenced to two years in federal prison. He had accepted bribes in exchange for providing credits to a film producer.

In another case, a former Baton Rouge producer was convicted of selling bogus tax credits. Two men recently pleaded guilty to submitting false expense claims to qualify for more than $1 million combined in tax credits. Another con man reaped nearly $1.9 million from multiple members of the New Orleans Saints organization by selling fake credits.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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