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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A bill filed in the state House could make it harder for North Carolina to bring big productions to Hollywood East.

Under the current law, a film company earns a refundable tax credit for 25 percent of a production’s qualifying expenses. Any money left over as surplus credit is then cut into a check from the state to the production company.

Republicans Rick Catlin of New Hhanover County and Chris Millis of Pender County are among the sponsors of a bill that would require them use the surplus against any future tax liability for the next five years.

Click here to read House Bill 994 and see its current status

Catlin says people need to be aware of the fact that tax incentives are coming right from tax-payers pockets, but Rep. Susi Hamilton, a Wilmington Democrat, says this bill is bad for business.

“If this bill or anything like it passes, the film industry in North Carolina will go away, and thousands of clean jobs will go away with it,” Hamilton said.

Rep. Catlin says even though he sponsored the bill, he does not expect it to pass. The bill, though, passed first reading today and was referred to committee.

Local actors and workers in the film industry will hold a rally this weekend to voice their objections against lawmakers who support the bill. It’s at 12:30 p.m. at Riverfront Park downtown.

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9 Comments on "Catlin, Millis sponsor bill to change film incentive law"

2015 years 10 months ago

“Film production: “I have a $100 bill. Will you give me $25 for it?”

North Carolina: “Yes, we will give you $25 for your $100. We will then have an extra $75 to spend!””

One more time……..
If that film company SPENT $100 The state got 7% of that hundred or $7 dollars.
The state then gave them $25.
The state is now “out” a net of $18.
And to make matters worse – that original $25 came from the farmer in Boone, the waiter in Manteo, and the homeowner in Raleigh – all who contributed their taxes to fund this incentive from the general fund. Where is their return on investment?

The STATE does NOT GET the $100 they get the taxable portion of that $100 – nothing else!!!!!
Spending a million dollars does not mean the state collects a million dollars – it only means the state gets the taxable portion meaning sales, and wage taxes.
You supported the stadium didn’t you? Didn’t understand that in order to reap that $242M in economic impact someone would have to spend an awful lot of money. Of course what the supporters were saying was “Its $242M in business which is far different than $242M in after tax profits for the State and county.

I’m not against this incentive per se – after all the Governor just “gave” MetLife $100 MILLION for 2600 jobs.
I just dislike incentives – they are corporate entitlements


2015 years 10 months ago

Rep. Catlin has already admitted he didn’t understand how the incentive works. Let me make it very simple:

Film production: “I have a $100 bill. Will you give me $25 for it?”

North Carolina: “Yes, we will give you $25 for your $100. We will then have an extra $75 to spend!”

NO ONE GETS ANY “REFUND” UNTIL THE MONEY IS SPENT! There is no upfront money given to the film industry. The state’s auditors come in to verify the money spent in the state at the end of every single production by combing through every receipt from rental cars, batteries, Cheez-whiz, curtain rods, hotel rooms, lumber, paint, carpet, antiques, etc, etc. Once verified, the sales tax accounted for (YES, we pay the full 7%!) only then is the REBATE applied. And 25% isn’t even accurate. Once the 7% is paid, it’s actually 18%. Georgia offers 30% and they’d be more than happy to take our jobs.

I think even a 6 year old child should understand, but apparently, Reps. Catlin and Millis can’t.

2015 years 10 months ago

Man I’m trying to be nice here, but what a couple of “not so smart people”?! Please please please let’s find some better reps for our region and the state for that matter. We can not afford to let people run unopposed either! I believe that’s how Millis got elected?

sister Agnes
2015 years 10 months ago

Mr Millis ran against to fellas who didn’t know sh*# from shinola. I am from Jacksonville and went to the debate. He was the only one who knew what was going on. He and Catlin are just trying to look out for us and our money.

2015 years 10 months ago

Millis was unopposed in the general election…. he was one of three candidates in the Republican primary last year. Catlin won by a large margin (about 65% of the vote).

Rep. Millis’ sponsorship of this bill is consistent with his conservative credentials and I expect no damage to his political future.

Rep. Catlin’s sponsorship of this bill is one of the most confusing political acts I have seen in years. Why would a legislator sponsor a bill that he didn’t “expect to pass”?

Guest in Winnabow
2015 years 10 months ago

I am a little confused by the phrase “Any money left over as a surplus credit.” If the state refunds 25%, then why would there be a surplus of money to the state or to the company? Seems that the production companies would submit a request for a refund and would get a check of exactly 25% of qualifying expenses. Is the state refunding more than 25% or maybe fronting them the money before they spend it?

charlie C
2015 years 10 months ago

Please join for rally supportting the incentives – at Riverfront Park (market & water st) this Saturday at 1:45. If you or any family members work for film industry this should be priority to attend saturday.

2015 years 10 months ago

The fact that these two ..uh..representatives (they do NOT represent me) are from the Eastern part of the state which has benefitted SUBSTANTIALLY from this lucrative business boggles my mind. This is a statewide business though and I can’t imagine it will pass. If it did pass, it would affect (ie- kill) production jobs for thousands of North Carolinians. Killing jobs for North Carolinians – forcing them to move to other states for work – seems a bit counter productive for anyone “representing” NC. Get these people out of office!

brian houck
2015 years 10 months ago

They should shutdown the film industry in wilmington. The film industry in wilmington only provides jobs for outsiders thatbare brougut in from other locations. Good riddens.


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