Betsy Jordan, who is Rick Catlin’s Democratic opponent for the North Carolina House of Representatives, has already identified her signature issue: film. WHQR’s Isabelle Shepherd reports.
District 20’s Republican incumbent, Rick Catlin, has voted to convert the film tax rebate to a grant program. But his challenger, Betsy Jordan, says this isn’t enough to keep North Carolina competitive in the film industry.
As state legislators continue to hammer out the budget, citizens of all political persuasions are awaiting word on the fate of this region’s bustling film business. And that’s why this morning, a contingent of officials and residents from the Wilmington area gathered in Raleigh’s legislative building to plead with lawmakers to extend the current film incentive tax credits—instead of switching to a grant program, which they say would eliminate jobs. But rather than demonstrating film’s bona fides within the Cape Fear region, local lawmakers focused on its statewide benefits.
This week's topic: Film Incentives in North Carolina
Providing tax breaks to the film industry…. statewide, it’s a controversial topic. In Southeastern North Carolina, there’s no question incentives have injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy through the boom in film production here. But plenty of state leaders from less film-centric areas aren’t convinced the financial benefits of the industry extend statewide.
Film incentives are the ticket to keeping more than four-thousand full-time jobs in the state. That was a central theme Wednesday morning in Raleigh during a press conference where state and city leaders, film industry workers, and industry supporters gathered to celebrate Film Day at the General Assembly.
If North Carolina lawmakers don’t renew film incentives during the short session – or if they choose to gut them to the point they’re no longer competitive with other states, some industry insiders are predicting an exodus of long-time film professionals from Wilmington.
As New Hanover County and City of Wilmington officials hand out financial incentives to companies they hope to keep in the Cape Fear region, the state is also considering the effectiveness of incentives.