The movie rebate bill is misunderstood by legislators

Ponca City Now - March 5, 2014 12:54 pm

After reconsideration the Oklahoma House of Representatives have passed the bill which will allow movie production in the state. House Bill 2580 wasn’t passed last year and wasn’t passed again earlier this week, but was held over on a motion to reconsider. The bill needed 61 votes to win majority and it got 65.

According to the Office of Film and Music it’s now awaiting committee assignment in Senate.

Rich Cantillion, Chamber of Commerce president said the bill is misunderstood.

“Several don’t like how these movies depict Oklahomans and they actually want to be able to regulate how it depicted Oklahomans, that does not make sense whatsoever," Cantillion said. "Others cannot grasp the rebate concept, and they are totally against any kind of tax credit. They just want to clean the slate and that could be devastating to Oklahoma’s economy.”

Since it’s a rebate, not a tax credit it doesn’t affect entities such as education or DHS. It rebates a portion of the money that is made off the movie being made here.

Cantillion said passing this bill could hugely benefit Kay County.

“August Osage County created $35 million in wealth for the Bartlesville, Pawhuska area, and then indirect funding was almost 88 million, that’s huge," Cantillion said."We know for a fact that there is going to be a movie made about the Marland’s and how exciting would that be if that movie was made in Ponca City, using the Marland Mansion, the Grand Home, our community. Think about what that would do in our tourism efforts in the next 30 years when this major movie is made telling this story of them and our community.”

If we don’t pass the rebate the Marland movie will be filmed elsewhere.

Cantillion says Oklahoma is one of a few states that doesn’t have a movie tax credit or rebate.

“ There are 47 states that offer some kind of tax credit, which this is not, or a rebate," Cantillion said. "Do we want to be one of those three and become the fourth state that doesn’t? That just takes us completely out of the movie industry, which is very lucrative.”

Cantillion says even though it passing the house is exciting, it’s not over.

Click here to see the complete tally of votes in the House of Representatives.


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