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Dank: Oklahoma 'Wasted' $4.2M On 'August: Osage County'

Oklahoma House of Representatives

A state lawmaker says a recently released report from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce shows film rebates recently extended by the legislature are a “bad deal.”

“I recently secured a copy of an economic impact study prepared by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in April that makes it very clear that this film tax credit is a bad deal for Oklahomans,” state Rep. David Dank said Tuesday. The Oklahoma City Republican is an outspoken critic of the rebates, and called it a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The study examined the rebates associated with August: Osage County. Rebates for the production totaled $4.6 million or 37 percent of the $12.5 million in qualifying expenditures.

"What did we get in return? The report estimates a total of $415,000 in state tax revenue from the film,” Dank says. “That means we lost $4.2 million underwriting one movie. Where I come from, that is bad business."

The report notes the total $15.3 million spent in Oklahoma on the movie’s production would have generated an estimated $415,000 in state tax revenue and $280,000 in additional local taxes. The state issued $4.2 million more in rebates than it collected in taxes from the film’s production.

Gov Mary Fallin signed the bill extending the credit April 2. It was the first bill she signed this session. It extends the provisions of the Compete with Canada Film Act until July 1, 2024.


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