Ohio film commissions seeking bigger production incentives

January 19, 2019 GMT

CLEVELAND (AP) — The film commissions of Cleveland and Cincinnati are asking Ohio to increase the annual amount of tax incentives to draw more film productions to the state.

Ivan Schwarz, head of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, and Kristen Schlotman, leader of Film Cincinnati, said recently they want Ohio to raise the cap on incentives for film productions from $40 million to $100 million annually, according to Cleveland.com.

Schwarz would like to see the credit expanded to Ohio productions of Broadway shows. Ohio currently provides incentives only to film and television productions.

State Sen. Kurt Schuring, a Canton Republican and a champion of the film incentives, says he plans to introduce an amendment to expand the credits to theatrical work. The credit would apply to productions and performances of shows heading to Broadway, coming from Broadway, or shows embarking on national tours.

“They love Ohio, because of the demographics,” Schuring said after meeting with Broadway producers.

A Cleveland State University economic impact study showed that every $1 in incentives contributed $2.01 to the state’s economy.

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission has helped bring production work to northeast Ohio for “The Avengers,” ″White Boy Rick,” ″My Friend Dahmer,” ″Native Son” and numerous other films. Filmmakers spent about $90 million in Greater Cleveland last year and employed more than 50,000 people part-time, Schwarz said.

Schuring said he wants to give priority to those productions that most help the state’s economy. Ohio currently accepts the first qualified applicants until the cap runs out, which happened two weeks into the current fiscal year.

There won’t be a proposal to increase the annual incentive cap until Republican Gov. Mike DeWine unveils a budget proposal for 2019, Schuring said.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com