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By Hunter Ingram

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — New Hanover County could see an estimated loss of more than $10 million in tax revenue if the state’s film incentive expires at the end of 2014, according to initial findings of a study released Monday.

The study, commissioned in September by the Wilmington Regional Film Commission with the assistance of other state entities, is being conducted by researchers at N.C. State University and looks at the financial impact of the film industry in the state. The current film incentive, which has a “sunset” expiration date at the end of 2014, gives qualifying productions a 25 percent refundable tax credit on money spent on certain services in the state.

“What was released Monday is just the first layer of the onion. There is the bigger study that all of this is part of that looks at filming statewide,” said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, who said a need for localized figures led his office to ask researchers for an early “snapshot” of New Hanover County’s figures. “We have enough general information that allows us to make some general assumptions and broad strokes, knowing the figures will change and, we think, change for the better as we get more detailed information.”

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