WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new study on the impact of the film industry in North Carolina shows the tax incentives promoting the industry have a positive economic impact.
A group of film commissions across the state, including the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, commissioned the study entitled “A Supply Chain Study of the Economic Impact of the North Carolina Motion Picture and Television Industry” by NC State Poole College of Management distinguished professor Dr. Robert Handfield. It found that the industry has a net contribution to the state of $25.3 million. The study also found the industry is responsible for 4,259 jobs with an average wage of $66,000.
The study also found that every $1 of tax credit generated $9.11 of direct spending by productions.
WWAY spoke with professor Handfield Tuesday evening. “I came into it without any bias,” he said. “I told them up front, I will be here to do analysis to count the flow of money and I don’t know how it will end up. So I had no bias, for or against, the film industry.”
Handfield added that he believed that was one of the reasons he was selected to conduct the study.
The state’s 25-percent tax incentive for productions will end at the end of the year. The study found that if the incentive is not extended, it would mean the loss of thousands of jobs and $21 million in state and local revenues compared to 2012 levels, including a $4 million loss in state sales tax revenue.
The study argues that extending the tax incentives would help the industry expand to more than $587 million worth of spending. While the state would then have to pay out about $90 million worth of tax credits, it would still created a projected net contribution of nearly $38 million to state and local revenue and about $7.8 million to the state’s general fund.