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ONLY ON 3: Catlin, Millis refuse to do interview about bill to stop film tax credits

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Two local lawmakers have introduced a bill into the North Carolina House of Representatives that local film industry insiders say would effectively ruin the film industry in the Tar Heel state.

Today, Rick Catlin and Chris Millis told us they were either too busy with obligations to their businesses or too scared that we would misconstrue their answers to interview and explain why they back House Bill 994. Both Catlin and Millis did give us written statements however.

“Individuals in the District and across this State deserve a government that is accountable with their tax dollars," said Rep. Chris Mills. "HB 994 brings more accountability to our State government by reforming the ability for film productions to carry over their tax credits instead of receiving a check cut directly from the coffers of hardworking taxpayers.”

20th district Rep. Rick Catlin issued this statement about House Bill 994:

"The best incentive for business is a tax structure that benefits all businesses. The current process of picking some winners at the expense of other taxpayers is what I oppose.

However, this bill does not reduce the present film incentives. It removes the refund of unneeded tax credits and carries them forward for five years…. You would have to ask the film industry why they don’t like this. Their answers may shine light on the unusual present use of tax payer dollars. The cash refunds we presently give the industry could go to education, infrastructure and lower taxes for all. The deferral of unneeded credits over five years would allow the film industry tax credits as they are truly earned and needed.

Based on the bill’s committee assignments I would be surprised if it makes it to the floor. I was one of three other co-sponsors because I wanted to shine light on the details of how the present incentive program is being used. I knew this would cause controversy, but it is my job to look after our hard working taxpayers and ask tough questions.

It is sad that the film industry is threatening their local employees’ jobs as a weapon to preserve the costly and unfair arrangement they now have. I hope the film industry continues to call Wilmington home."

Local film leaders say if passed; the bill would gut the local film industry. They say it would deny the agreed-to credit to productions currently in town, and would deal a lethal blow to the industry in the future.

"Unfortunately now we've already begun to get some phone calls from clients on projects that are pending that are now wanting to know should they even consider coming here now,” said Johnny Griffin of the Wilmington Film Commission. “With this legislation pending they can't afford to come here only to have the carpet pulled out from under them so maybe they need to go somewhere else."

State Senator Thom Goolsby says he completely opposes the bill.

"In the depths of the economic recession, with a 2.5 billion dollar shortfall that the democrats left us, we continued to fund the film tax credits because we understood how important that was,” said Sen. Thom Goolsby.

Critics of the bill say they're planning a rally at the foot of Market Street on Saturday at 1:45 pm to protest.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Wake Up

Millions of our tax dollars going to Hollywood instead of our teachers and our schools. Why can't yall see this. 994 is about keeping my tax dollars and yours in NC where they belong. At least our kids who can't spell and subtract can get a job as extras in Wilmywood. Pay our teachers not Hollywood!

Catlin and cronies

The only reason many do not appear to get too upset when these Wilmington idiots get elected and sent off to Raleigh is that they leave Wilmington. But as Goolsby and Catlin prove, once again, they cause move trouble for Wilmington up there, then they did when they were here!!!!
I blame the Wilmington to Raleigh, Republican pipeline for bringing us Berger, Goolsby, Catlin and many more MISTAKES to come...
We will all pay in the long run; like we are with the Berger example. Their finest work to date!

Time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Stop being so naive. It's not just the new Republicans; it was also the old Democrats. It's with whoever is in power these days..

The real problem isn't with the two parties. It's with the big business interests that pay our politicians and the elitist people we continue to vote into office.. Between all the perks they vote in for themselves and all the legal bribes they get from big business, very few of them really even give a crap about the rest of us anymore.

The real shame of it all is that we allow all of them to do it to us. We've become a nation of retarded masochists.

Next time you're really feeling frustrated with all of this, start by standing in front of a mirror and yell at yourself. We all should!

I'm reluctant to paint

I'm reluctant to paint Goolsby with the same brush as Catlin. Goolsby was independently successful before he sought public office and he did fulfill the main campaign promise to fight to end involuntary annexation. Sen. Goolsby is also politically astute enough to recognize the importance of the film incentives benefit to his constituency and support its continuation unlike Rep. Catlin.

He also

was one of the speakers who was in favor of continuing the subsidies.

It's unfortunate someone painted him with the same tar as was used on Caitlin and Millis. Might help if they read more.

Accountability

Regardless of why a politician votes a certain way, there's an unwritten contract between politicians and voters concerning accountability. The voters vote a politician into office as their representative in government. The politician agrees to explain the decisions he makes on our behalf as our elected representative. It's a sacred trust.

Emperors and dictators and despots feel no need to provide explanations. Politicians, on the other hand, should.

At the very least, they could have at least lied to us, like so many of them do, instead of imperiously stating that no explanation is required. This is a very ominous precedent of things yet to come from these two “gentlemen”.

To quote the Queen of Hearts from the Alice in Wonderland story: "Off with their heads!"

Read the quote from Millis

Read the quote from Millis and Catlin. It explains exactly the reason for the bill. There is no mystery except for the one WWAY is trying to manufacture. Stop picking favored industries and groups and let us taxpayers keep more of our money.

Nailed it!

But I was going to say that.... ;) Very well put. It amazes me how once "they" get into office they think they don't need "us" anymore. And what is more disturbing is that voters forget things like this come election time. What's wrong with "us"?

"Off with their Heads" indeed!

Thanks Tater

Interestingly enough, it took your comments on my post to really help me understand what I was trying to say. The "they" and "us thing truly is the heart of the issue.

Unfortunately, it seems that with each passing year more and more politicians are adapting that attitude. Of course, that wouldn't continue to happen if the rest of us simply stood up and put a stop to it. If we don't start stopping that kind of nonsense soon, it'll be too late for all of us.

Y'all both speak the truth.

Y'all both speak the truth. I am currently reading a novel set during the French Revolution and the complaints the people had against the nobility hit very close to home with the way our country's politicians and "leaders" act. We the people, have the power to vote them out of office, unfortunately there are too many of who prefer to bury their heads in the sand rather than to take a stand at the polls. We should never vote the lesser of two evils as has become the practice. If we all voted for the person who best reflected our beliefs and our opinions, we would be a lot better off. Unfortunately, the citizens of Wilmington are the most notorious for re-electing the same people over and over and over again. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In that case, Wilmington is the epitome of insanity.

Our village is missing its

Our village is missing its idiot. We sent him to Raleigh.

IF

you aren't going to stand behind the CRAP you throw out there...DON'T SUGGEST ANYTHING!