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Local lawmaker fights for incentives

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- State Representative Ted Davis is rallying local leaders together to promote the film industry.

"Right now, all I am trying to do is get the information out and see who out there is interested to go into battle for the film industry," says Davis.

In 2010, the state's film tax incentives were increased from 15% to 25%, letting production companies keep more money in their pockets. Incentives also attracted major Hollywood films like "Iron man 3" to the Port City. When these tax incentives expire in 2015, the threat of losing business becomes very real.

"Productions everyday are doing comparative budgets," says Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin. "Usually when productions call us they say we are looking at Wilmington, but we are also looking at two or three other states or cities or different countries. They factor all of those things into the equation so if you do not have the incentive, then that basically means the cost of doing business here goes up."

The film caucus would allow 30 counties who know the economic impacts of the film industry to hopefully educate other counties that may not realize it's importance. The film industry brought nearly 230 million dollars to North Carolina last year. A good enough reason Davis says to fight for incentives.

"The money that is being made and the business that it is bringing in...I do not have any question that I will have people who will support the economic impact from the mediums," says Davis. "It is just whether or not they are willing to do it."

Davis wrote and signed a letter that will be given to all of the House and Senate members Wednesday. He hopes to have word within a few weeks.

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Having worked a little with

Having worked a little with the local film industry I can tell you the amount of $$$ spread around to film here isincredible. Unlike certain other industries that benefit only a few the film companies really insert a lot of capital acroos the board. That and it's a "clean" nonpoluting industry. We should do all we can within reason to encourage the film industry to work here in S.E. NC.

Guesty1

I have no qualms with the film industry however using incentives for films but not other industries is the government trying to pick winners and losers and is plainly wrong.
I get very suspicious when the government hands out corporate welfare dollars for temp positions and temporary indirect spending.....
Once you dangle a freebie in front of someone they lie cheat and steal to get their hands on it. It's as true for some Welfare recipients as it is for corporate welfare.

Vog

Not temporary jobs

If film jobs are "temporary", so are construction jobs. I have worked in the film industry--mostly here in Wilmington--for 20+ years. We've had slow periods and now we are on an upsurge. There is a shortage of qualified crew people, and now they're coming IN from LA, Michigan, Louisiana, etc. When one production is over, we often roll onto another if the timing is right. Additionally, our industry spends locally and attracts tourism. Most other corporate incentives don't do that.

But if NC doesn't want me and my family...it looks like SC, GA and LA do. I prefer to stay in my HOME state!

Hard subject

By giving a tax credit, these company's were given a negotiating wedge to use for future film incentives. I would like to think that North Carolina's natural beauty is the ONLY thing that's needed to convince these company's to film here - but we all know that's not true. Once one state offered incentives others chimed in.
I guess it's this "keep up with the Jones" attitude that's bugging me, along with the temporary nature of the work offered to NC residents.
Ted says 30 counties benefit. I'm sure the bulk of the counties receive far less than New Hanover, Dare and Forsyth counties do so I do wonder if incentives are worth it? Several critics say the indirect spending is over stated. I had this same issue with the ball park - the multipliers were way too positive.
Perhaps it's time to re-think this incentive...

Vog