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Lights, Camera, Competition Between Ohio And Kentucky

Kentucky Film Commission

Kentucky is upping the ante in its quest to attract more movies.

Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 340 into law this month, increasing the income tax credit from 20 percent to 30 percent; and giving added incentives for filming in certain counties and for using Kentucky labor.

While speaking  in Northern Kentucky to promote economic growth last week, Beshear told WVXU the new legislation will help lure movie makers. "We understand (House Bill 340) is creating quite a buzz in the film world... that they're looking at Kentucky a lot more now because of the new incentives that we have to offer."

Gov. Beshear said Kentucky has some of the most beautiful landscaping in the world. "We have mountains, we have flatlands, we have bluegrass horse farms. We've got lakes and recreational areas."

He acknowledges the movie business is a competitive one and it's been five years since Kentucky had a major motion picture like "Secretariat," "Elizabethtown" and "Seabiscuit."

Five years ago Ohio established a cash rebate program, now considered one of the top five in the country. Partly because of that, in the last two years more than 15 movies have been made in Ohio. Ohio's deal is a 25 percent cash rebate with a $20 million cap. Movie makers are eligible for a 35 percent rebate if they employ Ohioans.

Last year the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission commissioned a University of Cincinnati economic study. That study said "Carol," "Miles" and the TV series "Renovation Row" were responsible for adding $45.9 million in direct and indirect spending to the local economy.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.