Town Hall Meeting for SB621

Posted on May 8, 2009

This just came in from OMPA:
 
Town Hall Meeting with Senators Burdick and Rosenbaum
 
Two senators who are in key positions to move SB 621 (which increases funding to the Oregon Production Investment Fund) are generously holding a town hall in Portland tomorrow. A friendly showing of support to increase OPIF is critical at this point. Please let the Governor’s Office of Film and TV know if you can attend: VincePorter@OregonFilm.org
 
What: Town Hall Meeting with Senator Ginny Burdick and Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Where: CubeSpace, 622 SE Grand Ave., Portland
When: Saturday, May 9, 10-11:30 a.m.
 
Senator Ginny Burdick ( District 18) chairs the Finance and Revenue Committee, and Senator Dianne Rosenbaum ( District 21) is on that committee. A key issue in front of these senators is their ability to move SB 621 forward to the Senate for a vote!!
 
As we have mentioned, SB 621 will die in committee unless the Finance and Revenue committee chooses to send it to the Senate for a vote – and with it, our chances of earning 3 more months a year of medium to large budget projects.
 
If you live in the Portland area, chances are either Sen. Rosenbaum or Burdick represents you. (You can check for yourself here.)
A flyer which underscores our industry’s support of SB 863 and SB 621, a copy of which lives here.
Talking points on SB 621 and SB 863 follow.
 
Call to Action: Support SB621
 
Senate Bill 621, which increases the Oregon Production Investment Fund, is currently stalled in committee in the Oregon Senate and requires firm support. Please take a moment to find your senator, and call or email them today.
 
What to say: I live in your district. Please support SB 621. This bill increases Oregon’s ability to attract medium and large budget projects to this state with a no-risk job creation program. Would you be willing to support this bill in the Democratic Caucus and make sure it gets to the floor for a vote?
 
Why it deserves support: Unlike other Oregon economic incentive programs, this program doesn’t spend a dime of the state’s money until after the company makes its investment in Oregon wages, goods and services. OPIF is a no-risk economic stimulus program that 1) creates jobs immediately, 2) gives the state of Oregon back more money in taxes than it puts into the fund, and 3) creates the type of jobs to help Oregon grow in the 21st century economy.
 
If your Senator is supportive and says they will champion this effort for us, please talk immediately with Vince Porter at the Governor’s Office of Film and TV, whose office is coordinating the effort to lobby passage of the bill: VincePorter@OregonFilm.org, 503-229-5832.
 
Please take an action today to show your support of Oregon’s media production industry and creative economy.
 
Key talking points from the Film Office:
Our biggest challenge right now is proving that this tax credit program is more worthy than other tax credits currently in place. Based on what I’ve heard in the halls of the Capitol, we will have to persuade the legislature to eliminate enough tax credits to make room for this bill. There are a few key points we think we need to make in the coming weeks:
 
#1: We must not use the word “Hollywood”. It immediately sours the bill and the effort. To that point – 6 of the 18 “OPIF” projects were in fact Oregon based productions. Of the other 12 projects, 10 were independently financed. We do not get the traditionally “Hollywood” projects and we will likely never get those projects. We get the independents which is in line with the “Oregon way”.
 
#2: OPIF is a successful program. So much so that there is not enough money left in the fund to attract any significant production for at least a year. In the last three weeks, the office has received three inquiries which were ready to come and scout Oregon but without the sufficient money in the fund, the projects have gone elsewhere. The projects would have had an Oregon spend of $8-$17 million.
 
#3: Oregon’s Film and Video industry is one sector that is doing well in these tough times. Passage of SB 621 will mean this industry can keep working and bring revenue to Oregon.
 
#4: Not one penny of OPIF’s tax credit money leaves the state until the investment has been made. We only rebate expenses once a production has proven that the money has been spent. Essentially tax revenue has been paid PRIOR to the tax credit money leaving the state. According to the ECONorthwest reports estimates on tax revenue from participating OPIF projects, $11,353,217 of tax revenue was raised which is more than the $10,000,000 in tax credits. WE ARE MAKING THE STATE MONEY AND THERE IS NO RISK!
OMPA has prepared this flyer to underscore our industry’s support of SB 863 and SB 621, a copy of which lives here.
 
A copy of a letter sent to the House Revenue Committee lives here.