The Norman Transcript

March 5, 2014

Bring movies to state

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Monday’s legislative vote on extending tax rebates to those who make movies in Oklahoma shows just how long folks can hold a grudge.

Some Oklahoma lawmakers are still upset over how our residents were portrayed in the classic 1940 film “The Grapes of Wrath.” The House on Monday voted 48-43 in favor of extending the tax credits. But House Bill 2580 failed to get the necessary 51 votes for passage.

A second vote Tuesday passed 65-28.

Rep. David Dank said the recent Oklahoma film “August: Osage County” gave the state a black eye. Much of the work was shot in Oklahoma, and many Oklahoma actors and vendors benefited from the business.

“If you could bring the whole city of Hollywood here ... I wouldn’t want them,” said Dank, R-Oklahoma City.

The film about a dysfunctional family was part of a $35.1 million boost to the economy in 2014. It would be about $88.9 million if the total indirect benefits were figured into the equation.

A Senate version of the rebate program already has passed. The rebate is capped at $5 million and is one of the smallest business incentives the state offers.

We are glad some House members changed their minds and voted approval of this important program.

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