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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.

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  • taxpayer
  • taxpayer

    Of course the study results show the loss of incentives would hurt NC…that’s what they wanted it to say. Just as a study commissioned by those who don’t want incentives will get the results of a study they commission.

    Figures lie…and liars figure.

  • Vog46

    What a bunch of BS.
    But this line kills me:
    “The study also found that every $1 of tax credit generated $9.11 of direct spending by productions.”

    This has been proven false in state after state and in study after study.

    But then they shoot themselves in the foot:
    “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.”

    And whats wrong with going back to 2012 levels?
    And if we paid out $77M and LOST $4M in revenues wouldn’t we be ahead of the game by $77M – $4m OF $73m THATS not PAID OUT?

    The film commission mouthpiece needs to resign and we need to let these corporate give aways expire – they serve no purpose at all. Filming was done here before incentives and will apparently stay at 2012 levels if we let them expire….


  • FilmFlam

    This from a Nevada legislative study on film incentives:

    “We found that aside from studies paid for by economic development authorities and the Motion Picture Association of America, an industry trade association, almost every other study has found film tax credits generate less than 30 cents for every $1 of spending.”

    Less than 30 cents for every dollar. The NC film industry has taken taxpayers for a ride, and it’s time for tax payers to revolt.

    Just say NO to film incentives. And why, by the way, are we subsidizing Hollywood? Hollywood executives are laughing at our gullibility all the way to the bank.

  • ChefnSurf

    Looks like some important members of the film industry (yea right, a couple of self serving NC film commissions) have finally mastered the art of self hypnosis. That’s the only way to explain how they could possibly come up with numbers that no sane and not self serving person has been able to replicate. Then again, maybe they’re just so used to spinning fantasies on the silver screen that they can no longer differentiate between reality and their own bullcrap.

    Regardless, I have never seen an industry that is so threateningly blatant in trying to extort handouts of other people’s money for their own personal financial gain. Apparently, there isn’t even the last remnant of a vestige of shame left in good old tinsletown.

    As the old saying goes: “You can tell when they’re lying, because their lips are moving.”

  • tke1

    Obviously, us bumpkins do not understand the motion picture industry. We should be so honored and blessed just to have them in our midst that we would sell our first born children just to keep them here. No matter that when these same people speak of the South, they invoke pictures of ignorant, inbred, toothless, backward boobs as the typical resident of any location south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Arrogance and snobbery abound with these folks. We only get the “honey mouth” when they want something from us, namely our hard earned money.

  • taxpayer


    From the chart, in 2012, NC had 792 people employed in the film industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…a far cry from the 4259 jobs listed in the WWAY article.

    Which report is correct? It all depends upon which side of the fence you’re on.

  • jj

    We gave Iron Man 3 an incentive and it grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide. How much of the profit did we get for our investment? Did they pay NC taxes on that amount or California?

  • Taxpayer$$$

    This is nothing more than outright theft by one industry, using the state government as the intermediary. If some Hollywood movie producer pulled out a weapon on Front St and shook down the citizens for money to fund his movie, he would be vilified as a common crook. But get government to do the dirty work and the theft becomes an “incentive”. This is NOT the proper role of government.

  • Taxpayer$$$

    Here is a great article about the true cost of film incentives with quotes from N.C. Commerce Department’s Labor and Economic Analysis Division.



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