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Strickland Rejects Movie Tax Break

Rejection Comes With Veto Pen

Tuesday, January 6, 2009 –Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland did not raise a megaphone at the Statehouse and yell “cut,” but the effect was just the same.The governor killed plans for tax breaks for the movie industry with one stroke of his veto pen.Strickland said late Tuesday that the veto came because the tax breaks appeared to be a poor investment.Lawmakers had approved the plan in late 2008 in hopes of encouraging the production of more movies in Ohio. Thousands of new jobs were to be created under the plan, according to the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Patton of Cleveland.In a written statement, Patton said he was disappointed in the governor’s veto.“Today’s action by the governor closed the door on legislation in which many individuals had spent years working, but more importantly, the possibility of 1,500 new job opportunities for the Cleveland area that were promised if this bill had been signed into law. I find that deeply troubling,” Patton said.Strickland said the tax breaks could amount to $100 million a year and that the state could not afford it.“The experience of other states suggests that the return on investment with a film tax credit is a weak 14 to 20 cents on the dollar, making the credit a very expensive means of creating jobs. Given the uncertainties in our economy and revenues, I do not believe an expensive, new, and difficult-to-administer tax credit should be adopted outside the context of budget deliberations,” Strickland said.Strickland’s rejection of the movie tax break bill was among several vetoes announced on Tuesday.He also vetoed an election reform bill passed by majority Republicans in the House and Senate.Strickland called the changes passed by lawmakers “overbroad” and said they “may make elections administration even more difficult.”Republican lawmakers disagreed. Jim.otte@whiotv.com

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