Jeremy Henthorn and his staff at the Ohio Film Office announced that they will resign effective today.
Henthorn cited the state’s transition from Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland to Republican John Kasich as the reason for the mass departure. Kasich beat the Democratic incumbent in November’s election.
Kasich “has a restructuring plan, and part of the restructuring plan has to do with — in one way, shape or form — with the film office,” Henthorn told Daily Variety. As for what the change means for the future of tax incentives, “It really is going to depend on what the new governor’s vision for production in the state of Ohio is.”
Ohio’s current tax incentives provide a 25% rebate on expenditures in the state with an additional 10% for the wages of Ohio native cast and crew.
According to Henthorn, these incentives are guaranteed through April, but he is unsure whether the office will have staffing to promote or enforce them.
Both the Cleveland Film Commission and the Cincinnati Film Commission, run by Ivan Schwartz and Kristen Erwin respectively, are independently funded and will not be affected by the transition.
Henthorn said he plans to return to his original passion, screenwriting, but will remain an advocate of competitive tax breaks for his home state. No replacement for Henthorn has yet been named.
The Incentives Office anticipates similar stories in the coming weeks as state film commissions encounter friction with changing administrations.