Governor Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper visited Wilmington for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Breakfast series. Both took questions from the crowd regarding film incentives.
Roy Cooper criticized Governor Pat McCrory for letting tax credits for film productions expire. He says data shows the film incentives were working and that there were benefits beyond those that could be calculated:
“It gives North Carolina a positive image out across the country and the world. I will fight for those incentives. I will fight to help bring back this industry to North Carolina and to Wilmington. You built too good of a foundation here for us to let it go. There’s still time, but we’ve got to have the right leadership.”
When an audience member asked McCrory if he would restore the tax credits, he said he had done what he could to compromise with the legislature, which had wanted to eliminate all funding for the film industry. He said some people had been taking advantage of the tax credit, and that it wasn’t fair to other industries to prioritize incentives for film:
"I’m going to continue to fight for the industry, but I’m also primarily going to fight for the industry in the film area that has permanent placement here, not partial placement where you come and go. But if they invest just like any other industry through long-term, sustainable investment, they should get the same incentives that any industry gets in North Carolina. And that’s my strategy for the film industry.”
Over 900 people registered for the event, making it the largest Power Breakfast since its inception.