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Oklahoma House reverses course on filmmaker tax rebates

One day after narrowly defeating a tax incentive bill designed to attract movie productions to the state, the Oklahoma House of Representatives reversed course Tuesday and approved the measure.
by Randy Ellis Published: March 5, 2014
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State Rep. Todd Thomsen, the bill’s House author, said he believes lawmakers who voted against the bill on Monday received a lot of calls from constituents wanting them to change their minds.

“I think as those individuals had opportunities to talk to various members, they were able to cut through some of the rhetoric and misinformation,” said Thomsen, R-Ada.

The bill would extend for 10 years a program that allows filmmakers to receive tax rebates of up to $5 million a year on money spent on movie productions in Oklahoma. Current law, which is scheduled to expire July 1, allows filmmakers to recoup $1 for every $3 spent in the state up to the program’s limit.

The movie industry directly spent $35.1 million in Oklahoma last year, Thomsen told House members.

“I think it is a proven program that benefits our state financially, but also helps create an industry that diversifies our state’s economy and revenue stream,” Thomsen said.

by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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