Recent popular productions filmed in North Carolina include The Hunger Games, Iron Man 3, The Conjuring, and We're the Millers. Current TV shows being filmed in North Carolina include Under the Dome, Sleepy Hollow, and Banshee. The film industry employs over 4,000 people in North Carolina, not including contractors hired to perform necessary tasks for a production. The average income of these jobs is $66,000/year. It also generates about $25 million in revenue for the state. In 2011 and 2012, almost half of all North Carolina counties benefited from productions. The incentive has a "sunset provision" and is set to expire on January 1, 2015. All of this would not be possible without the state's 25 percent tax incentive. In other words, a production gives the state a dollar in exchange for a quarter.
The North Carolina Legislature is trying to take the incentive away.
Opponents of the incentive's common explanation is that the incentive takes money away from the state. This is clearly a false statement. The state does not hand out free money to productions, productions must spend money in the state in order to receive the credit. Opponents have also proposed making the incentive a grant. Changing incentives in other states has cost them most of the industry leaving the state.
The city of Wilmington, also known as "Hollywood East," is a haven for film production, and home to EUE Screen Gems Studios, the largest film studio east of California. The film incentive fiasco began last year when four NC House representatives sponsored a bill to make the incentive non-refundable, effectively killing the incentive. The bill did not succeed, however, one of the sponsors included Rick Catlin of District 20, one of Wilmington's districts. When voters elect government officials, they expect them to serve their constituency and their interests. However, many General Assembly members along with Governor McCrory have shown they have no interest in doing their job by proposing drastic changes to the incentive.
If the film incentive is changed, repealed, or expires, it means productions will relocate to other states that compete with North Carolina for productions will receive them, and the film industry will have little to no presence in North Carolina. It means loss of state revenue. Many families who work in the film industry, such as my own, will have to leave the state in search for work elsewhere. Local economies and the state economy as a whole will be hurt from productions no longer spending money at local businesses. This isn't a partisan issue, it's clear-cut. If a rising sophomore in high school can realize it, our politicians should be able to: Changing or doing away with the film incentive will have a negative impact.
Let's send a message to do away with the sunset provision of the incentive rather the incentive itself, and a message telling politicians to do their job.
- State Representative
- State Representative
Leave the North Carolina Film Incentive alone.
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