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Economic indicators -- Oregon, Economic conditions -- Oregon, Mass media -- Economic aspects -- Oregon


Oregon’s media industries have become increasingly well-known over the last several years, thanks in large part to successful feature length films and television series produced in the state. It is widely known that such productions offer visibility, tourism interest, and a boost to local merchants during their visits. More economically important, but less immediately obvious, are the impacts of a home grown industry of professionals and businesses that thrive in regions able to maintain a reliable stream of production activity. Numerous states now offer incentives to visiting media productions, some focused on big-ticket features and visiting series. In Oregon, the Governor’s Office of Film and Television has emphasized support for a local industry that not only interacts with out-of-state productions, but produces its own content, income, and permanent jobs. Indeed, the state’s media industry has grown substantially over the last decade, and now supports thousands of resident professionals working in film, television, animation, video games, and multimedia.

Providing such support requires incentives that not only compete with other states hopeful to foster similar outcomes, but with other areas of Oregon’s budget. The Film Office has commissioned analyses of the local economic impact of its efforts since at least 2007. This report expands and updates previous work by NERC to measure the costs and economic benefits of Film Office incentives, and adds analysis of survey and other economic data on the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the film and gaming industries.

This analysis examines FY 2016-2017 through FY 2019-2020, and indicates that the production incentive programs offered by OFT have a substantial positive impact in the local economy. By offering special incentives to local production firms and including game companies, the relevant programs create more lasting economic impacts than similar programs that incentivize out-of-state productions equivalently.

Altogether, incentives paid over the analysis period averaged $13.5 million per year for the OPIF program, and $3.9 million per year for the Greenlight program. Incentive funding is generated primarily through a credit auction of state tax credits. Although most incentive funding in terms of dollars goes to large out-of-state production companies, most of the income generated by productions taking part in the incentive programs accrues to Oregon residents, according to a prior detailed analysis of payroll records. This income then is spent within the state in other sectors, generating further employment, income, and output. Incentivized programs directly supported 5,321 full-time equivalent jobs over the four-year analysis period, or an average of approximately 1,680 in FY 2016-2017 and FY 2017-2018, and 980 in the subsequent two years. Indirectly, economic activity related to these directly supported jobs is estimated to support an average of over 1,000 jobs in total per year over the analysis period.


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