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.
Wilmington’s Sutton Plant is one of five statewide Duke Energy coal operations being decommissioned—and the closing of this one is of high priority to lawmakers. In November, Duke Energy retired Sutton’s coal operations. Although it’s now a natural gas plant, more than two million tons of dried coal ash—the waste generated after coal is burned—remains on the site. And the legislation that will determine exactly how much time Duke has to dispose of it all is pending in the General Assembly’s current session. WHQR has this look at the Sutton Plant’s retired coal operation.
Last year’s hotly debated puppy mill bill may be back on the table. The North Carolina House has passed a budget amendment that would shift animal welfare oversight from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Public Safety. This would allow law enforcement officials to inspect commercial dog breeders, and charge those operating with ten or more female dogs.
Pender County is getting more than two million dollars from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help bolster its economy. The award, announced yesterday, will go toward construction of a wastewater treatment plant that will serve manufacturing operations in Pender Commerce Park. That’s just off of Highway 421, north of the New Hanover County line. So far, that park is empty--but by the end of this year, it will be home to a major seafood processing facility.
The House has passed a budget amendment that includes a provision for the film industry.
It was the joint effort of Republicans Ted Davis, from New Hanover County, and Ruth Samuelson, from Mecklenburg County.
This was Davis’ second attempt to include a program for the film industry in the House version of the budget. And this amendment, says Davis, is aimed at keeping the conversation about film incentives going.
New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger--who was charged with a DWI in February--is likely looking at a four-month prison sentence. Following Berger’s arrest in Avery County this week for violating his parole, and possessing numerous weapons and drug paraphernalia, the commissioner made an appearance in court this afternoon—via video from the county jail.
Dozens of New Hanover County citizens are brainstorming ways to use local land, resources, and economic opportunities in the not-so-distant future. It’s all part of the Comprehensive Plan, a public engagement initiative to plot the development necessary to accommodate this region’s projected population swell. In November, when the planning department initially outlined this plan, they told their commissioners they would constantly be reevaluating their strategy, to ensure that all citizens had a voice. However, a significant sector of the population hasn’t been accounted for.
North Carolina’s public school teachers could soon be faced with a big choice: pay hikes, or job protection. State senators are proposing a budget that would raise experienced educators’ salaries in exchange for what they’re calling “tenure rights.” And navigating such a choice can be confusing. Which is why the local division of the North Carolina Association of Educators—or NCAE—is hosting what they’re billing as an informational rally in Wilmington, tomorrow.
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.