The Norman Transcript


June 10, 2013

An incentive worth granting

NORMAN — Government incentives can become onerous things. Left without constant scrutiny, a once viable and logical incentive can deteriorate into an insidious waste of taxpayer money.

But sometimes, they also work just as they were designed and stimulate an industry that provides income for Oklahoma. 

And that is clearly the case with the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program. This program, which was started with a mere $150,000 and has generated millions of dollars in direct and indirect income to our state coffers over the last nine years, was not renewed by the legislature the night before it adjourned sine die. In addition to helter-skelter arguments against the bill, a few legislators, in a last minute panic attack to defeat the measure, questioned the income figures reported by the Film Commission.

SB1126 would have extended the sunset, or ending date, on the film program to 2024 and raised the cap on the film rebate fund from $5 million to $8 million. These funds are awarded to companies who agree to certain stipulations and produce films in Oklahoma and only after the completion of photography.

Nearly 80 of these films have been shot since 2004 and, in addition to increasing the exposure of our beautiful state to national and international audiences have accounted for a return for our state of 3:1 in direct dollars. Hotels, restaurants, local labor pools have all been stimulated and generated substantial tax dollars in addition to the actual cash outlays of the film companies. In fact, in FY 2012 alone, the $5 million rebate invested in six films created 512 jobs and returned $15 million in direct dollars to Oklahoma’s economy. That’s math everyone can understand.

Apparently, the communities that have been the recipients’ of these efforts like them. According to Julie Daniels, former mayor of Bartlesville, “The benefits of the film rebate program in Bartlesville can be seen in the sale of goods and services, contract employment plus increased sales tax revenue. Especially important, it has given our local a talent a chance to work in their hometown.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014