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Oregon’s tax credit for in-state film and video production has four more years to run, but its advocates have come to Salem to urge lawmakers to extend and expand it.


While they didn’t put on the full-court press they did two years ago, when the tax break was up for renewal, advocates say Oregon should seize the opportunities opened by filming such television shows as “Leverage,” “Grimm” and “The Librarians.”

Christian Kane, who plays Jake Stone on “The Librarians,” was one of those talking with lawmakers this week.

“Oregon allows itself to become any other place,” he said. “If we want to go to a different city or country, you can find something like it in Oregon. For us, that’s the beauty of filming in Oregon. It’s really fun to be able to use Oregon for everything it is worth — and we do.”

“The Librarians” starts shooting its second season for TNT on June 3. Its creator is Dean Devlin, who also was co-executive producer of “Leverage,” which also aired on TNT for five seasons from 2008 to 2012, and which was filmed in Portland.

“Grimm,” the NBC series filmed in Portland, ended its fourth season on May 15.

The current Oregon Production Investment Fund is limited to $10 million annually in tax credits, which are subtracted directly from taxes owed, and which are auctioned. The credit was renewed in 2013 for six years.

Film and video producers qualify for a 20 percent rebate on in-state spending for goods and services — there is a $1 million minimum expenditure — and a 10 percent rebate on wages paid, including out-of-state residents.

“As a result of this investment, there are shows that are happening and getting Oregon noticed,” said Rep. Tobias Read, D-Beaverton, one of the legislators promoting expansion. “I want to make sure we extend this program and increase our investment in it, because it does so many good things for the state.”

Tax committees have before them House Bill 2072, which would expand the credits fund to $20 million annually and provide incentives for production outside Portland; House Bill 2898, which would extend the credit to 2024, and Senate Bill 872, which would extend the credit to Oregon producers of video games.

Oregon rates only two stars among the states with film and video production tax incentives by the Film Production Capital website.

According to a 2014 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 states have tax incentives for film and video production, but others have dropped or scaled back their programs.

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