Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Wonderful Film and Television Tax Credit

You might think, given my previous questioning of targeted tax credits (like the BETC) that I would be rather skeptical of the film and television tax credit now under scrutiny in Salem.  Here is Chris Lehman of OPB:

The sun is setting on a series of tax credits in Oregon. In 2009 lawmakers voted to sunset nearly all of the state's tax credits on a rolling basis every six years. That would allow them to review each one and decide whether it's worthy of renewal.

The first batch is going under the microscope now and includes things like incentives for reforestation and hand-outs to the film and television industry.

One of the beneficiaries includes the TNT television series "Leverage" starring Timothy Hutton.


The setting may be fictional, but the place where it was filmed is the very real city of Portland.

"Leverage" is in the midst of taping its third season of shows in Oregon. But executive producer Dean Devlin says "Leverage" wouldn't be in Oregon at all if it weren't for the state's tax credit for film and television production.

Dean Devlin: "Without the incentives, we wouldn't be there. The incentives are essential."
You would be wrong.  I think this is the best tax credit ever! I mean we get to have real hollywood stars grace our streets, our fair state appears on screens around the globe...the benefits must be endless.

Okay, okay, perhaps it has more to do with the fact that I am a direct beneficiary: the good folks at Leverage are going to film a few scenes at my house and pay me a modest sum for my trouble.

Boy do I love that tax credit!

By the way, I have never actually seen Leverage, but I am totally confident that it is the best thing on TV.  Ever.


Chuck said...

Do I detect at least a little sarcasm? If any other agency head admitted to 5 to 11 percent waste, the budget would be cut. See

Leverage is in the new TANF program -- Timeless Assistance for Non-needy Filmmakers -- folks who keep asking for a handout and never get off the dole. And Oregon get's 'em to spend money here based on the tv viewing preferences of 18-35 year olds. Real smart economic development policy.

Patrick Emerson said...

Yes, in case it was not evident, I was being sarcastic. But as a rational, self-interested person, seeing a direct monetary benefit from the tax credit (although perhaps Leverage would be here without it) does tend to color ones view of such things!