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Ohio doubles film incentive

Funding for annual program upped to $20 million from $10 million

Making movies in Ohio just got a little easier.

On Wednesday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation to increase the state’s annual film incentive program from $10 million to $20 million for the next two years. Any unused coin from the first year would roll over to the second.

Under the bill, HB 508, Ohio will make $20 million available as of July 1, effectively increasing the refundable tax credit to $30 million for the period between July 1 and June 30, 2013.

Disney-Marvel’s “The Avengers” moved the majority of its production from Michigan to Ohio last year after concerns arose over the future of Michigan’s incentive program. And many observers credit the $220 million movie with encouraging Ohio legislators to bump up the tax credit program.

“Ohio got its shot because of what happened in Michigan,” said Joe Chianese, exec VP with incentive experts EP Financial Solutions.

Previous Ohio-shot pics include George Clooney’s 2011 political drama “The Ides of March.” According to the Greater Cincinnati Film Commission, which announced the new bill on Thursday, “Ides” brought $4 million to the state.

Ohio’s revised incentives still place the state on the conservative side of U.S. incentive programs, many of which have higher caps or no ceiling at all. Only 10 states have no tax incentive program in place or plans under way to create one, according to data from incentives experts Entertainment Partners.

Last month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proposed adding $25 million to the state’s incentive program in 2013.

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