Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed bills into law that will extend a tax incentive program designed to attract more movie productions to Oklahoma and reimburse Oklahoma communities for some of their expenses in attracting national and international events.
The extension of the rebate bill for filmmakers sparked controversy as it passed through the House and Senate, with some lawmakers complaining about providing incentives to producers of films such as “August: Osage County” that portray Oklahomans in a less than favorable light. That film, which starred actress Meryl Streep, was about a dysfunctional Oklahoma family.
Other lawmakers praised the attention and economic activity such films bring to the state.
House Bill 2580 extends for 10 years the program that allows filmmakers to receive tax rebates of up to $5 million a year on money spent on movie or commercial productions in Oklahoma. It allows filmmakers to recoup 35 percent of the amount they spend in the state, subject to program limits. The $5 million rebate limit is a cumulative limit for all film productions in Oklahoma each year.