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Lawmaker wants to expand Ohio film credit to include Broadway shows

Special to the Legal News

Published: March 13, 2018

A Republican lawmaker wants to expand Ohio's film tax credit to include Broadway shows developed in the state.

Filed as House Bill 525, the measure would extend eligibility for the motion-picture tax credit to certain live-stage theater productions.

Qualifying productions would include those scheduled as a live stage production in New York City's Broadway theater district after the original or adaptive version is performed or developed within the Buckeye State that is used.

Additionally, any production scheduled to be performed within the state for more than five weeks, with an average of at least six performances per week, would meet HB 525's requirements to qualify for the tax credit.

Completion of a show's technical period in Ohio before it begins touring is the final qualifying requirement of any production considering filing for the tax credit.

HB 525 also aims to increase the maximum amount of credits that may be awarded from $40 million to $100 million per fiscal year.

Lawmakers raised the tax credit from its original amount of $20 million in 2009 to the current $40 million maximum two years ago.

Canton Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring introduced the measure, which subsequently was referred to the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, earlier this week.

HB 525 also would make revisions to the law governing administration of the credit.

New language would require the state tax director to review and approve applications for tax credit certificates in two rounds each fiscal year, with first-round certificates approved by the end of July and second-round certificates approved by the end of January.

The director would be required to rank applications on the basis of the extent of positive economic impact each tax credit-eligible production is likely to have in this state.

In the event the amount of credits represented by productions approved in the first round equals the maximum annual credit amount, the director only would award credits once during the particular fiscal year.

HB 525 stipulates that If the production of a motion picture or Broadway theatrical production does not begin within six months after the date it is certified as a tax credit-eligible production, the director shall rescind the certification.

The bill awaits a first committee hearing.

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