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Oregon Launches Film And TV Tax Credit Expansion

Bob Heims
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
File photo of Portland, Ore.

Film and television producers will soon have an even greater incentive to shoot in Oregon.

Starting Monday, the Oregon Department of Revenue will auction off tax credits to replenish a subsidy fund to lure major Hollywood productions to the state.

While some states are re-examining and even reeling back some film production incentives, Oregon lawmakers this year expanded theirs. The state says the program has lured film and television shows to the state, including the NBC police drama Grimm, which starts its third season this week.

Critics say the incentives mostly go to deep-pocketed production companies and that competition between states to land movies and shows is a race to the bottom. But Vince Porter of the Oregon Film and Video Office says there's a real benefit in terms of the money the companies spend on salaries and production costs.

"They don’t get anything from this fund until they actually come here and have spent their money and have proven that they've done what they said they were going to do," says Porter.

Backed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, lawmakers expanded the subsidy fund this year from $6 million to $10 million. Porter expects the auction of tax credits that replenishes that fund to go quickly.

On the Web:

Oregon Production Investment Fund - Governor's Office of Film & Television 
Film Production Incentives by state - National Conference of State Legislatures