Welcome to Oregon where tall pine forests hung in mist give way to beautiful rolling amber plains, and breathtaking Pacific Coast views can be found year-round in the state’s temperate climate. The Beaver State is a premier destination for filmmakers seeking not only diverse scenery but also substantial financial benefits through the Oregon film tax incentive.

In this guide we will dive deep into the nuances of the Oregon film tax incentive: what it is, what expenditures qualify, and how you can capitalize on the Oregon film production tax credit during your next project.

Wrapbook’s Production Incentive Center

Before we delve into the specifics of Oregon film tax incentives, we invite you to explore the comprehensive resources available at Wrapbook's Production Incentive Center.

The Production Incentive Center is your go-to destination for all things film tax incentives. Check out features like the State Incentive Map, which allows you to easily navigate incentive options across the country. Or give the Incentive Comparison Tool a spin and learn how film tax incentives from different states stack up beside each other.

You can even talk to an AI Incentives Expert to learn about the latest legislation and to get a clear, concise explanation of how to make incentives work for you.

With Wrapbook’s Production Incentive Center, filmmakers can effortlessly compare various state incentives, including Oregon's, to make informed decisions about their production locations.

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Why Oregon?

Oregon's lush forests, rugged coastlines, and urban landscapes have long attracted filmmakers. From modern classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Goonies, and Stand By Me to more recent hits like the Twilight franchise and Nicolas Cage’s Pig, Oregon takes center stage in countless films and television series.

Capitalizing on Oregon Film Tax Incentives - Wrapbook - Oregon Forest
Oregon’s enchanting and sun-dappled coniferous forests.

Beyond the state’s natural beauty, the Oregon film tax incentive offers compelling financial reasons to shoot in the state, making it an attractive option for projects of all sizes.

How Oregon film tax incentives came to be

The Oregon film tax incentive was established in 2005 by Oregon Film, officially known as the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television, to boost the local economy by attracting more film productions to the state. 

Since its founding in 1968, Oregon Film has been instrumental in fostering the state's media production industry. Oregon Film serves as the primary agency dedicated to promoting and supporting the film, television, and multimedia industries within the state.

The Oregon film tax rebate program has successfully brought a plethora of productions to Oregon, all of which benefit from the competitive Oregon film tax credit auction and other local incentives.

What are Oregon film tax credits?

The Oregon film tax incentive is not, strictly speaking, a film tax credit. In fact, at the heart of the Oregon film tax incentive program is a 20%–26.2% rebate.

Understanding the difference between film tax credits, film tax rebates, and various other film tax incentive programs can be vital to production companies trying to find the right state for their production. 

Film rebates are state funds paid directly to a production company for qualifying expenditures. Unlike film tax credits, which can be claimed only after a production company files a tax return with the state, rebates do not require producers to file a return.

Ryan Broussard, Wrapbook’s VP of Sales and Production Incentives, describes film tax rebates as essentially “buckets of cash” that can be accessed by productions that meet certain requirements.

Oregon has a project cap of $10,000,000, meaning $10 million is the most amount of money that can be awarded to any particular project.

The project cap is based on the rebate program’s annual cap: no single project can earn more than 50% of the total annual cap, which is currently $20,000,000.

The Oregon film tax rebate has a minimum spend requirement of $1,000,000. This means that productions must spend at least $1,000,000 in Oregon to qualify for the tax rebate. 

If you don’t meet this relatively high minimum spend requirement, don’t fret. Oregon has another program for smaller productions called the  Local Oregon Production Investment Fund.

What is the Local Oregon Production Investment Fund?

The Local Oregon Production Investment Fund (L-OPIF) provides substantial financial incentives to support film, television, and interactive media productions that are locally produced within Oregon. 

The L-OPIF offers rebates of 25% on goods and services paid to registered Oregon vendors and 20% on payroll for Oregon-based employees, including fringe benefits. These rebates apply to productions with a minimum in-state expenditure of $75,000 and up to $1 million per project or season of a series.

Key aspects of the Local Oregon Production Investment Fund include the requirement for a project to be produced by an Oregon resident producer or an Oregon headquartered production company. Additionally, at least 80% of the speaking cast and crew must be Oregon residents. 

The program also supports post-production and interactive video game development if they meet similar spending thresholds.

Applications for the Local Oregon Production Investment Fund need to be project-specific, and they cannot be speculative based on anticipated work. Projects with narrative content are eligible, whereas commercial productions, news, and sports programming do not qualify. 

Expenses incurred outside of Oregon do not count towards the rebate, and projects must comply with state laws regarding independent contractors to qualify for incentives.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Oregon Film's official page on the Local Oregon Production Investment Fund for further guidance on eligibility and application processes.

Who qualifies for Oregon film tax incentives?

Production companies engaging in production in the state of Oregon are eligible for a Oregon film tax rebate. Qualifying production types include:

  • Feature films
  • Animation
  • Commercials
  • Documentaries
  • Game shows
  • Industrials
  • Interactive
  • Scripted TV

Any production company undertaking any of these various projects within Oregon may qualify for the Oregon film production tax rebate, provided they meet the specific spending and operational criteria outlined below.

What expenditures qualify for Oregon film tax incentives?

So what does qualify your production for a lucrative Oregon film tax rebate? Well, everything from cast and crew payroll to physical production expenses like equipment rentals and property used or obtained in Oregon can all be covered by Oregon film production tax credits (i.e., rebates).

To maximize your Oregon film tax rebate, it's essential to understand which qualified expenditures contribute to the rebate. These expenditures encompass both direct production and post-production spending within the state of Oregon. They must be subject to taxation by the state to qualify for the film tax rebate.

Qualified expenditures can be categorized into three main groups:

Cast and crew

The first, and often largest, portion of production expenditures include cast and crew payroll.

Oregon makes budgeting for the payroll rebate fairly simple. All cast and crew payroll, including payments to above-the-line residents, above-the-line-nonresidents, below-the-line residents, and below-the-line nonresidents, qualify for a 20%–26.2% rebate.

This means that for every dollar you pay cast and crew, you can get 20–26.2 cents back, within set limits. For instance, there is a compensation cap for above-the-line cast and crew of $1,000,000.

This means that only the first $1,000,000 paid to above-the-line cast and crew is eligible for the 20%–26.2% rebate.

Physical production expenses

Along with cast and crew payroll expenses, Oregon offers a rebate of 25% for physical production expenses. This means productions can get back 25% of every dollar spent on physical goods purchased in state from local vendors.

Whether you’re renting equipment, building sets, paying for crafty, or managing any of the many and varied other production costs that come up over the course of a shoot, the physical spend rebate is a powerful tool that will make sure you see money back.


You might be asking why the 20%–26.2% range when it comes to the payroll rebate? How do you get a 26.2% rebate on payroll for below-the-line residents as opposed to 20%? That’s where bonuses come in.

The Oregon film rebate program offers a few bonuses that can help bump up your total payroll rebate to 26.2%. These include:

Regional Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF), Rebate #1 

Under the Regional Oregon Production Investment Fund, Portland-based projects are eligible for a reimbursement of $200 per day for each person traveling to a location outside the Portland Metro Zone, defined as 30 miles from Burnside Bridge. 

This rebate bonus has a per project cap of $10,000 per day and $50,000 overall.

Regional Oregon Production Investment Fund, Rebate #2

For projects based outside the Portland Metro Zone, an additional 10% can be added to the projects overall OPIF award as long as there are a minimum of six production days and more than half those days’ worth of production are conducted outside of Portland.

Capitalizing on Oregon Film Tax Incentives - Wrapbook - Portland Sign
Portland is Oregon’s largest city, but your production can save money by shooting outside the Portland Metro Zone.

Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate (GOLR)

Finally, the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate is a separate 6.2% rebate that can be combined with the base Oregon Production Investment Fund Rebate. The 6.2% rebated from the Greenlight program is essentially paying back the 6.2% withheld due to Oregon income tax. Loan-outs typically do not qualify since they don’t withhold.

Call Oregon Film to check on this bonus’ available funding. The film office has the authority to deduct up to 1% of a final rebate issued through the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate Fund for workforce development and educational needs. 

PHW are the only fringes that qualify for the Greenlight Program. Reality projects cannot apply for OPIF but can apply for Greenlight.

It’s important to note that the two Regional Oregon Production Fund rebates are mutually exclusive, and the fund is capped annually at 3% of the overall OPIF fund.

What is the Oregon film tax credit auction?

The Oregon film tax credit auction is an annual event organized by the Oregon Department of Revenue in conjunction with the Oregon Film and Video Office. 

The auction allows individuals and businesses to bid on state income tax credits, which are sold in increments of $500, with a starting minimum bid set at 90% of the credit value ($450). The proceeds from this auction go to the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF), which supports the state's film and television.

What are the requirements for Oregon film tax incentives?

Navigating the landscape of film tax incentives can be complex, but understanding the requirements for the Oregon film tax rebate is essential for productions looking to benefit from the state's generous support. To qualify, productions must meet several criteria designed to promote diversity, safety, and compliance with state laws.

First and foremost, applicants must submit a written diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy. This policy should outline the production's commitment to fostering an inclusive environment and detail strategies for achieving these goals. Alongside this policy, applicants are required to provide diversity statistics for their project, ensuring transparency and accountability in their DEI efforts.

In addition to the DEI policy, productions must also present a written plan to address any type of on-set harassment. This plan should include measures for preventing harassment, procedures for reporting incidents, and strategies for supporting affected individuals. By implementing these plans, productions help create a safe and respectful working environment for all cast and crew members.

Financial aspects of the Oregon film tax rebate also have specific requirements. Individual and loan-out payments are capped at $1,000,000 per project, ensuring a fair distribution of funds and preventing any single entity from monopolizing the benefits. Moreover, the Oregon state withholding tax applies to all wages for which the rebate is claimed, ensuring compliance with state tax laws and contributing to the local economy.

By adhering to these requirements, productions can leverage Oregon's film tax incentives to support their projects while promoting diversity, safety, and financial responsibility. For filmmakers, understanding and meeting these criteria is a crucial step towards making the most of Oregon's supportive production environment.

How to apply for Oregon film tax incentives

Securing the Oregon Production Investment Fund (OPIF) rebate can significantly enhance your production’s budget, but understanding the application process is crucial. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the requirements and successfully apply for the Oregon film tax incentives.

To begin, productions must submit completed applications to Oregon Film before the start of production. This initial application needs to be thorough and include several key documents: a script, a complete budget, a production schedule, a finance plan, proof of funding, and a producer's letter of intent. These elements provide a comprehensive overview of your project and demonstrate its viability and financial backing.

It's important to note that any costs incurred prior to the official start of production are not eligible for the rebate. Therefore, timing your application submission is essential to ensure all qualifying expenses are covered. Upon approval of the application, the producer will need to enter into a contract with Oregon Film, formalizing the terms and conditions of the rebate.

For productions seeking the Greenlight Oregon Labor Rebate (GOLR), the application must be submitted within 10 business days of the start of pre-production in Oregon. This timeline ensures that your project can promptly begin taking advantage of the labor rebate, which can substantially reduce payroll expenses.

Capitalizing on Oregon Film Tax Incentives - Wrapbook - Welcome to Oregon
Oregon, a Pacific Northwest haven for your next production?

The application process for Oregon’s film tax incentive involves detailed documentation of your production expenditures and project specifics. Ensuring accuracy and completeness in your submission is vital for securing the valuable Oregon film production tax rebates. By meticulously preparing and adhering to these guidelines, your production can benefit from Oregon's supportive film incentive programs, paving the way for a successful and financially sound project.

Wrapbook discusses film tax incentives with Oregon Film

Recently, Wrapbook Co-Founder Cameron Woodward sat down with Oregon Film Executive Director Tim Williams for an in-depth conversation about everything Oregon Film does to support filmmaking in Colorado, including their generous film tax incentives.

Check out the conversation on Wrapbook’s On Production podcast!

Wrapping up

Oregon offers a lush backdrop for your next production coupled with enticing financial incentives. By understanding and leveraging the Oregon film production tax rebate, filmmakers can bring their creative visions to life more affordably.

Explore more about state incentives at Wrapbook’s Production Incentive Center and take the first step towards maximizing your production’s potential with the Oregon film tax rebate. Remember, every dollar saved is a dollar that can enhance your creative expression in the picturesque state of Oregon.

Free Resource

Get expert advice on state production incentives

Find Incentives
Last Updated 
July 2, 2024


At Wrapbook, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding free resources to producers and their crews, but this post is for informational purposes only as of the date above. The content on our website is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for legal, accounting, or tax advice.  You should consult with your own legal, accounting, or tax advisors to determine how this general information may apply to your specific circumstances.

About the author
Tom Waddick

Tom is a filmmaker, producer, and marketing specialist based in Los Angeles.

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