How your taxes help polka artists, Vanilla Ice make TV, movies in OH

youngstown ohio tax credit movies film commission

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN 27 Investigates is taking a look at Ohio’s Motion Picture Tax Credit.

Every year, millions of dollars are handed out to companies making films here in Ohio.

For example, records from the Ohio Film Tax Credit show that Juma Entertainment received over $400,000 to produce two television shows titled, “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish,” about rapper Vanilla Ice.

Those records also show that the Chardon Polka Band, which tours the nation playing traditional and punk polka, put on new personas for their work on a show called “The Polka Kings.”

“There is an audience for polka music, especially this time of year. It’s the fall, Oktoberfest season,” Jake Kouwe of the Chardon Polka Band said. “Everybody needs a band with someone playing an accordion and a group of people in lederhosen. You need that at your event.”

The polka group appeared on a national radio program, which caught the attention of High Noon Entertainment.

The production company signed them to a deal to make “The Polka Kings” reality show, and the Colorado Company received state tax money to make the show.

Ohio Development Services Agency Director David Goodman hands out money to film and TV companies.

“Everything we have heard from industry is, they won’t come to a state without a tax credit,” Goodman said.

On First News at 6 p.m., you can hear how much the state spent for each episode of The Polka Kings that aired and hear the state’s explanation for why they wouldn’t spell out specifically what their movie money bought in 2014.

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