The debate over film incentives in North Carolina erupted on the public stage last year when two state Representatives – Rick Catlin from New Hanover County and Chris Millis of Pender County – sponsored a bill that would fundamentally change the structure of the tax rebate.
The legislature is out of Raleigh, but, the jury may not be out on economic incentives, including those supporting North Carolina’s film industry.
The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders plan to write to Governor Pat McCrory, asking him to reconvene the legislative session to make a final decision on economic incentives. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo says this is a bigger issue than just film; he wants to protect job development grants, which incentivize companies to bring their business to North Carolina:
A film incentive grant program is included in the current budget compromise. But an amendment proposed by Republican Representative Ted Davis from New Hanover County would maintain the existing structure of the film tax rebate for one year. The proposal passed the House during Thursday's session by a wide margin.
Ted Davis’ amendment to Senate Bill 763 would extend the current tax rebates for one year, which would allow time for an independent study to be completed.
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.