Full Senate Approves ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’

Mike Seals - May 19, 2021 11:19 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – The full Senate has given its approval to Senate Bill 608, the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021.”  The measure, by Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Sen. Chuck Hall, R-Perry, and House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Finance, Revenue and Taxation Chair Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, establishes a $30 million cap on first-come, first-served rebates for TV and film productions in Oklahoma.

Hall said this new rebate package builds on the tremendous success of the state’s existing rebate program, which had a cap of $8 million, and strengthens requirements for the use of Oklahoma locations and facilities in order to qualify for the maximum rebates.  He noted that in Fiscal Year 2020, the $8 million investment made in film and TV productions resulted in over $32.8 million spent directly on Oklahoma crews and vendors, with 3,960 jobs created for Oklahoma residents. In the current fiscal year, the estimate was for 33 film and TV productions creating 10,218 local jobs with a direct economic impact of $161.7 million.

“This legislation is about diversifying Oklahoma’s economy by supporting home-grown entertainment businesses and jobs and supporting local economies,” Hall said.  “We now have more sound stages and post-production facilities that have come online and are ready to capitalize on this enhanced rebate package—make no mistake, this legislation will boost entertainment production right here in Oklahoma, creating thousands of jobs for Oklahomans and supporting local hotels, restaurants and other Oklahoma businesses.”

The funding would be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, offering a base percentage of 20% on qualified Oklahoma expenditures for film and TV productions.  As an additional incentive to utilize rural counties and towns, there’s a three percent rebate if 25% of filming is done in a county with a population of less than 250,000.  The package also includes an additional 2% rebate if the project is filmed in a town of under 13,000.  There are additional rebates available for using Oklahoma sound stages and post-production facilities, for pilot episodes of TV programs, for filming one or more seasons or for multi-picture deals.

“The Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021 is a piece of legislation that will provide an immediate return for our state and our citizens. It will create jobs for blue-collar workers all across the state of Oklahoma and for every dollar we spend, we will get $17 spent back,” Fetgatter said.  “This bill allows us to continue to diversify our state’s economy and show the world its natural beauty. It will pay big dividends for Oklahoma and Oklahomans.”

For more information, contact Sen. Chuck Hall, 405-521-5628, or email [email protected].


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