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Rally for film industry slated for May 4


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As the General Assembly heads back to session next month, supporters of North Carolina's film industry hope to make a statement with a rally supporting the state's tax incentives for TV and movie projects.

The North Carolina Production Alliance and Wilmington Regional Film Commission will host the 2nd Annual NC Film Rally on Sunday, May 4 at 5 p.m. at the bottom of Market St. on the Wilmington Riverwalk. Organizers say the event is to help raise awareness for the vitality of film jobs.

"The rally is just the beginning of what we hope is a very successful legislative session," the Production Alliance said in a statement. "So many local families depend upon film for steady work, and this is a great opportunity to show the community that we value their support and recognize the hundreds of folks who want to get more involved."

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and other state and local leaders, as well as special guests from the entertainment industry are expected to speak.

The state's tax incentives for film are set to expire soon if legislators do not extend them.

Earlier this spring a study commissioned by film commissions across the state showed the loss of the film incentives in North Carolina would have a negative impact on the state's economy. But the validity of that study was soon called into question by a non-partisan legislative staff report requested by Rep. Rick Catlin, a New Hanover County Republican. The report questioned the methodology used in the film commission study and says North Carolina loses money on the incentive program.

Last year, thousands of people rallied in Wilmington on short notice to show their support for the film industry in the Port City and across the state.

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The film rally

a few comments:

You say that filming employs 4000 people locally yet only several hundred show up according to another local news outlet. This is not good for the cause. Filming pays out 25% of expenditures but you get LESS than 25% of film employees at your own rally? So - are you wrong about how many people are employed? Or do people just NOT care?

For an industry that DEPENDS upon its products appealing to "the masses" there was no mention today in the Raleigh news outlets about this rally and I checked several outlets. Hopefully they'll pick up on it today but I tend to doubt it.

The other day AP reported that fiscal experts are saving tax collections are down and the NC may face a $440M shortfall based upon tax returns. This figure does NOT include the $400M Medicaid shortfall. Then we have the News and Observer in todays paper calling for "bold" action on teacher pay raises.

You can marginalize all you want - just like the ballpark supporters did ("It's only a cup of coffee for each taxpayer") but you want to know something? $61M is a big number to an ordinary citizen and they may want that cup of coffee instead of supporting filming. Your pathetic turn out yesterday is indicative of the lack of support even within your own industry! Then we have "lame duck" Thom Goolsby, and "I like to spend other peoples money" Susie Hamilton at the rally? Thats it?
No state wide coverage, no out of town politicians, can't even muster the MAJORITY of the industry's employees, And YOU want us to believe how important you all are? Puh-lease.

This state is heading for another fiscal shortfall - and it may be big. I think the tax cuts were ill-timed and too steep, but hey, it's done. Now we pay the price. almost a BILLION dollars between tax revenue decline and Medicaid. And YOU want the state to lose 81 cents on every dollar?

Apparently NOT MANY people agree based upon yesterdays turn out. You needed not only 100% of your own group, but several thousand voters in addition to your own group. You couldn't even get a thousand folks there.
Who the heck organized this farce? Please say it was Johnny Griffin! Please?


Wow---You can really tell the difference

Just reading these comments and you can easily tell who has the facts and who has the hyperbole, vitriol and talking points.

If NC allows the incentive to sunset and allows jobs, revenue, talent and opportunity to by siphoned off to Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, etc. (that ALL have film incentives), then our state deserves to become the toxic wasteland of ignorance and intolerance that it's swiftly becoming under the current Koch-controlled cabal in Raleigh.

Wake up, my fellow Tar Heels and SAVE the one industry we still have. FILM=JOBS!

Ol Vog fesses up

I have made a tragic mistake in my argument against filming.
I apologize to those who may have gotten confused by my rantings.

Ol Vog has been asking the question
"Can film supporters get behind the idea of a lowered corporate tax rate for filming companies or......."

I was mistaken
From NC

"In 2010, Governor Bev Perdue signed into law House Bill 1973 and House Bill 713 that creates the following changes to the North Carolina Film Refundable Tax Credit:"

"HB 713:

Eliminates the 6.9% corporate income tax on the tax credit taken by a production company. This allows the production company to realize a full 25% of qualifying expenses."

So you Already GET more THAN DUKE AND HAVE BEEN SINCE 2012!!!!!

No corporate taes already?

and now we're paying an out of state corporation to work here? On a continuing basis???????
This is far FAR more than ANY other company or industry as received.

YOu rail against Duke fo rnot paying tases when your own business doesn't either.

You are all entitlement grabbing hacks who have become sullied with greed - sucking at the government teat for any and all hand outs. You are nothing more than Creekwood residents in suits.

it is time to end this insanity


Corporate taxes replaced


The reason the legislature did away with the corporate taxes on production companies is they realized those taxes were ineffectual since virtually none of the production companies are based in NC. Instead they replaced that corporate tax that was collecting virtually no revenue with a sales tax that now collects a full 7% on every penny spent in the state.

For a little background, manufacturers in NC get a manufacturer's certificate that made purchases of materials for the purposes manufacturing tax exempt. This applies to all manufacturers - not just film production companies.

Film production companies used to be defined under that umbrella because they "manufactured" films. However, when the legislature eliminated the corporate tax credit that you referred to above, they also took away their legal definition as manufacturers and now the purchases production companies make for the purposes of manufacturing films are liable for the full 7% sales tax. So in fact, the line in the legislation you refer to above actually resulted in a net increase of the rate (from 6.9% corporate tax to 7% sales tax) and resulted in the state collecting a LOT more revenue from film production companies.

Effectively that also immediately reduces the amount of the rebate to 18%, not the 25% everyone claims. As I said, the 25% number is not fully accurate. The real amount of the rebate, when it's all said and done, is much less than that. More like the 9.825% I explained in other posts here.

I appreciate your efforts to understand this, but you need to be fully informed and know the full breadth of the legislation and its ramifications in order to comment accurately.


The sales tax was instituted full time in 1939 not during the filming debate as you want us to believe.

So the corporate tax wasn't REPLACED by anything as the sales tax was already there.

but keep trying

If any private company losing the amount of money NC is loing on this incentive would be out of business shortly. 19 return on every dollar is abysmal and your attempt at rationalizing through marginalization is nothing more than socializing the losses so that a very VERY few benefit. This is the EXACT argument the ball park supporters tried to hoist on us.
But we are talking about politicians here so nothing they would do would surprise me




I tried to explain to you that manufacturers purchasing goods used in the fabrication of their product don't pay sales tax. In fact every business purchasing goods for resale also pay no sales tax. Go to Costco, register as a resale vendor and you'll see. Manufacturers and businesses are going to gather that tax when the product is sold so they don't pay it when the goods are purchased.

I also tried to explain to you how film production companies were initially considered as manufacturers and as such paid no sales tax. But that definition was changed and now they do.

I have worked in the film industry for 30 years. I know it's history. I have procured goods and services for film production for almost that entire 30 year period. I know how the tax structure works, how it was applied to the film industry then and how it is now.

From talking to you here I'm not sure your ideological bent will allow you to grasp the truth I have presented you.


The state loses o every dollar it pays out.
The return is 19 cents on the dollar
This goes along with what the state auditors ACTUALLY counted in New Jersey, Mass and Connecticut, along with countless other private studies.Educate yourself Robbie and try to show some independence in your thinking.
The film industry uses highly over inflated IMPLAN multipliers to "show" the effect film spending has in any particular area.
The state auditors actually COUNTED the effect.

No matter which way you slice it and dice it we are paying for filming to take place when in fact it took place without incentives.
Sorry but its a money loser
Will some jobs go away? Sure, I would expect that.
But after the raucous debate in the SC legislature and the Georgia legislature when they extended their last round of film incentives the tide is slowly turning against the incentives.
Sorry Robbie but if you work in the industry you certainly can't fairly evaluate the industry.
Your opinion is naturally jaded


Tell us a bit about what you do for a living and so everyone is on firm footing here. No one can evaluate your perspective without some insight into your background. You know others posting here work in the film industry in one capacity or another but you discard their opinions as jaded. How can your opinion be fairly evaluated if people aren't likewise knowledgable on your background? For all we know you're Rick Catlin or Chris Millis. I doubt it because hopefully they have a better understanding of how the incentives work and the state's tax structure than you do, but it would be interesting to know your history.

I suspect from how much you post here and your racist comment on Creekwood residents that you're an old retired white guy with little more to do than post on newspaper articles and worry about where his $49.95 in taxes went.

Here Albert

and Robbie - dispute this:

Business law school at a university.
Not any political hype involved.

I don't worry about your background(s) and personally don't care. The only positive reports come from studies done by or funded by MPAA so the ONLY people that support filming are the film workers themselves.

Dispute the study gentlemen.
Oh and BTW - I am not a politician - I'm on my third career. I have been asked but politely turned down the offer to run.
I do care about this area but I am aghast that we would wast so much money in tough times, and get no return on it. Read the section on jobs closely it COSTS the state an average of well over 6figures for each job created. No political slant to it - just facts.
Like the ball park supporters - you rely on flawed studies that attempt to paint a glowing picture when in reality the return is a loss for the state. The main culprit here is IMPLAN multipliers which have been shown to be overly generous on assumptions when used.
I don't expect you to change your mind, heck Robbie admits to working in the biz. I just don't want him working at MY expense. $49.95 is $49.95 - your attempt at marginalization is pathetic and done in the vain hope to minimize the issue here. The problem is that like the ballpark - "it's just a cup of coffee a day or a lunch per week" - then your "wondering where his $49.95 went". Pretty soon you're talking real BIG numbers.
I'm GLAD to pay taxes for many functions of government - this is NOT one of them


Creekwood residents?

Wow. Someone's less than veiled racism is showing.

You can...

You can shove that race card up your a@@. No one is playing your card game anymore.

Nothing racist about it

The public housing residents are all living on government money, no different than the film companies looking for government money. Your weak attempt to play the race card is a failure.

Corporate taxes

What you don't realize is when they did away with the corporate taxes, they replaced that by instesasd making production companies liable for 7% sales tax. The corporate taxes on a company that wasn't based in NC were negligible anyway, and now they're taxed at 7% of all expenditures.

Previously film production companies had been defined as "manufacturers" and as such didn't pay sales tax on purchases within the state, just as any other business in the state that falls under that umbrella. They present a manufacturer's certificate to vendors and paid no sales tax because they paid corporate tax.

So figuring that sales tax was more lucrative and covered a broader range of expenditures than the corporate tax did, and knowing that most film production companies weren't based in NC anyway and paid very little if any corporate taxes, they took away the legal definition of film production companies as "manufacturers" and now they pay the full 7% sales tax on everything purchased.

That means first all the rebate is immediately reduced to 18% because 7% has already been paid to the state in the form of sales taxes. Also not all expenses qualify for the rebate, so the rebate doesn't cover everything they spend here either. And as I demonstrated in another post here, at the end of the day, according to Rick Catlin's numbers, all things considered, the actual percentage of the rebate returned is closer fo 9.825% than 25%. 25% is essentially bait to get companies to come. It doesn't actually "cost" the state anywhere near that amount, it anything at all.

You have to read and understand the full breadth of the legislation and the changes it underwent in order to realize why they did away with the corporate tax and how they more than made up for it, but it's in there.


Using your terminology:
"the actual percentage of the rebate returned is closer fo 9.825% than 25%. 25% is essentially bait to get companies to come. It doesn't actually "cost" the state anywhere near that amount, it anything at all."

Therefore doing away with it will not be a big impediment to getting filming to be done here.
After all its not that much - CORRECT?

Sorry but any program that loses 81 cents on the dollar should be eliminated.
It is not the function of state government to subsidize any industry on a continuing basis! You pay the same taxes as Duke Energy - NONE.
But we don't subsidize Duke any further than that - YOU are asking for additional subsidies on top of that.

Just out of curiosity - how much spending does the industry do that is "non-taxable". You've been in the industry for 30 years - I'm sure you know....
Oh and as far as grasping things are concerned? You do know what this is don't you? It is corporate welfare - after all corporations are people too.
Can you support complete disclosure of qualifying expenses Robbie? If not why not? After all it is my tax money going to pay for this I should be able to determine why my money goes to the industry.


Real incentive rate is 9.825% - not 25% = Catlin's numbers

For more perspective, if you take Rep Catlin's "review" of the NC State impact study as gospel, he says that on $337million in qualifying expenses in 2012, the state paid out $84.2 million and took back in $51.1 million for a difference of $33.1milion.

That means instead of the 25% number that is always presented to folks the real "cost" of the incentives, even in Catlin's worst case scenario the real percantage of the rebate is $337million/$33.1million or 9.825%. nowhere the 25% number the public always hears.

No courage.

I am never afraid to use my real name on posts because when I say something I truly believe it and stand by my statements. It's nice for other people to throw stones with anonymous names. If you stood up for what you believe in and had no problem with what you're spewing I suggest you put your real name down on your posts. Courage it's a beautiful thing.

Your perception

of courage is different then mine but thats OK.
In this age of hacking, and flaws in IE and so on I think it is more than fair to allow anonymous posting.
Freedom of speech comes from ANYONE, named or not.


In addition to that, you

In addition to that, you have cyber stalking and harassment. I have had someone put my home address out there, knowing I have kids. He also put my husband's work information out there and encouraged people to run him down to his employers. I will always do what I can to remain anonymous.

Film works

I will be there to rally along with my union brothers to take what is rightfully mine. I, along with others in the film business, pay plenty of taxes. And because of our $60-100,000/yr income we pay more that others thus entitling us to perks such as allowing productions to take back a percentage of money paid out to us in labor.

As time goes along we will see blacks and women becoming a part of the labor pool. These are jobs well suited for those with GEDs and drop outs. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do most of the menial labor required to earn a paycheck of $1,200 or more a week. Right now and in the past we hire our friends but as more work comes in we cn expand the hire pool to include minorities. Maybe the government will help to expedite tht by offering grants down the road to include these minorities.

It's simple, the three hundred or so workers will leave town should the tax credits disappear. I work a lot in Charlotte and Wilmington, should jobs leave that opens the door for me to do more work n the state because everyone else has left. Personally it doesn't matter, but as a union member it does. We stay strong. The union stays strong. And that's what's important, establishing labor, establishing living wages, benefits.

Film = Money. It's not like teaching = money or firefighting = money. Unloading a truck filled sometimes with heavy boxes = money, if it s for a movie. And who doesn't like movies? Billions of dollars in profit every year prove movies are an important piece of the publics lives.

Not in the film business? Doesn't matter, we're the ones tipping you or paying your salary with our taxes. Join us. I'll buy you a drink. Party on!

film jobs

so-just out of curiosity-how does a person get one of those 60k jobs? my husband has tried many many times to get a foot in the door to no avail. he is very smart and adept at carpentry he had his builders license in another state. also, he tried to get a job driving the movie equipment truck. in fact, he ran into two guys in one of the trucks while you were filming "tammy". they told him they had been doing it since the beginning of the studio way back. they also told him you have to be "connected" (know someone) in order to get in. in other words don't try if you are a nobody. you can't just drive over to the studio and apply or inquire. he tried that too. what's the secret? why is it so hard?

Getting a job

Honestly, even though this is a right to work state, most crew members here, including carpenters, are in the IATSE Union. The best way to get a foot in the door is to first join the union and get on a roster. Being an unknown quantity it's of course a little harder to get that first job, but once you do and you prove yourself, you will get work. It's a bit of an investment to join but if you're serious about it that's the best first step.

Of course the more work there is here the more new people will be hired, so keeping the incentives alive is the key to job growth.

Persistance and connections

If your husband is interested in construction, find out the name of the construction coordinator of a specific production and ask for an interview, if only to drop off his resume'. Ditto for transportation coordinator if he wants to drive a vehicle. A CDL will likely be required. People don't just "luck out" to get these jobs. It takes diligence and persistence. I say this as a 25-year veteran of the film industry.

As busy as it is currently, every department is looking for smart, able-bodied workers. Prove yourself to be reliable, resourceful and be prepared to work 12-15 hour days.

Everybody's a "nobody" until they meet the right somebody!

Six Reasons to Reject Film Incentives

1. Movie production incentives do not not result in the creation of jobs. Rather, the economic impact is that of a transfer of jobs from one location or state to another. Additionally, unless the state in question has a consistent stream of productions, the project-based nature of the film and television industry generates short-term jobs that eventually leave specialized laborers out of work.

2. States have a tendency to use vague language and refer to successes in other states when advocating in support of production incentives.

3. Critics maintain that information is selected to present positive results, and that states rely too heavily on perceived successes in other states without adequately considering how available resources within the state will impact their respective economies.

4. States often incorrectly use economic measurements, such as a multiplier or an increase in different types of tax revenue, to promote film tax credits. When comparing multipliers across different projects, movie production incentive multipliers tend to be smaller than those for other investment projects (e.g. nuclear power plant, hotels). Revenue from alternate taxes not covered under tax credit policies do not always cover the original cost of the given film tax incentives.

5. Grants require films to pass sensitivity tests in order to ensure a state is seen in a positive light, which may lead to censorship issues.

6. Politicians focus on immediate, short-term projects because it is politically easier to change these incentive policies. However, a focus on improving baseline tax policies to incentivize long-term private investment in industry would lead to higher levels of job creation, productivity and economic development.

That shows

just how out of focus they are.

a rally in Wilmington to get the Legislature's attention in Raleigh??

an apparent case of blind led by fools. They did the same thing last session; and it did not work.

Take the show to Raleigh; what's hard to understand about that?

If you're going to make an effort, at least show some thought in what you do; how you do it; and Where you do it.

Johnny afraid a Raleigh appearance will show all just how impotent he is in swaying actions and generating results?


They will rally here and get a couple of thousand folks to show up.
Yes they SHOULD rally in Raleigh - but even that won't be helpful.
I firmly believe the film supporters will carry the vote from REPs from Buncome, Mecklenburg and New Hanover counties - but thats 3 out of 100 counties.

No this issue will be decided by those unrepentant conservatives from counties like Clay county, Stokes county and Hertford counties who don't believe in incentives, don't believe its the state's job to give them out and who don't like "liberal Hollywood" -and who frankly don't like ANYTHING the Dems did.

But, this IS North Carolina - so anything is possible when it comes to politicians voting....


No one is afraid to go to Raleigh.......we are working!

With multiple shows across the state the crew base is all in full swing working 70-80 hr work weeks.

It is pretty tough to get 4000 people spread across the state to show up in Raleigh.

The day after the rally "Sleepy Hollow" starts there first day of filming the new season. "Under the Dome" is in full production. Lets not forget about the Nicholas Sparks film "The Longest Ride", and the Sci Fi film "Max Steel"......and that is just in Wilmington. Many shows going on across the state.

Its a good thing we cant rally in Raleigh.....We are all working FULL TIME! The incentives work.

This will be another successful year for the state crew and venders.

Why don't you try complaining about the $300 million in subsidies given to Duke Energy. I have never heard of a film or tv show dumping coal ash in the NC rivers.....have you?

Sorry Shaun

First and foremost - if incentives were THAT important to the film industry they would be there, not here. To NOT be there down plays the importance of the incentives themselves.
Second I agree that the jobs are clean, and have always been clean jobs.
Third your argument about incentives to Duke Energy are "farcial" at best. I dislike ANY incentives but her effect of the incentives for Duke results in them paying NO CORPORATE TAXES. Their employees still pay taxes (LOADS of them) but Duke gets NO CREDIT for them. The film industry CLAIMS wages as a expenditure for the incentives.
So - as I have asked countless times - would you film folks SUPPORT a lower tax structure OR a rebate of actual taxes paid so that film companies pay no taxes? If not why not?
Duke gets incentives but still pays property taxes and employee payroll taxes. The film industry gets taxed at 5% of expenditures but gets paid back at 25% of those same expenditures. Duke does not - they get back the 5% they get taxed on. They still pay property taxes.
Should Duke get fined and be forced to pay for coal ash clean up? Absolutely, without question.
The film industry believes it's entitled to FAR MORE than Duke or any other company or industry gets. They are using false accounting to puff up expenses and are using fear of job loss to get people behind them. This is fear mongering as the industry itself says that the top ten cities both large and medium sized contain many cities in states with no film incentives. yet when face with facts from their own industry film supporters slink away like the entitlement grabbing hacks they are.
I will even compromise. Lets give the film industry EXACTLY what we gave Fortron - 1% of money spent.
Agreed? Can you agree shaun? If not why not?
You guys need to be in Raleigh, not protesting here!

This isn't a protest. It's a

This isn't a protest. It's a rally of support. It involves local and regional politicians, vendors and business people. There will probably be a similar rally in Charlotte. We don't need to go to Raleigh in order for this to make the news and get the point across. Legislators aren't in session now anyway so there's no one in Raleigh that the rally would directly appeal to there. Come out and meet your friends and neighbors who count on film industry-related revenue for their livelihoods and business growth.


I have friends and neighbors that work in the business. A couple of them own businesses. They enjoy the fact that they can profit by the movie business, but don't RELY on it.
One business owner said to me "If the movie business goes away I lose maybe 5% of my total revenue and my profitability is not affected by such a small loss. I do wish I could get a government hand out to support my business but since I won't even ask I'll just keep on keeping on."
My friends that work in the biz say they're nice jobs, clean jobs but what has happened with the incentives is that their jobs got politicized. Now instead of working because they're good experienced crew men they are working because film supporters say the jobs will go away if the incentives are allowed to sunset. They are insulted by this argument put forth by the industry. Its as if the years they spent working BEFORE incentives doesn't count.
You don't need the support form local politicians - you have that. You need to get the support from Bertie County, Rockingham county and Herteford county reps! THEY are the ones that will listen to the state fiscal research division because they believe that the legislative analysts are independent (which they are).
Your rally is drumming up support that's already here.
Go get arrested at the Legislative building. It will get you noticed. Even Rev Barber got some sympathy for it.....


Remove the sunset and watch NC grow

You get the job due to your experience. But you can't put your experience to use if there are no jobs here to get. I'm a 30 year film industry veteran. I do not consider my job to be politicized. If film incentives here vanish and film work here goes away, I will still work, just not here. Where the jobs are located is politicized. My ability to do my job is not. What we're fighting for is the ability to work at home and be with our families as much as anything else. I can do my job anywhere on the planet. I prefer to do it here where I live.

We shouldn't have to fight for something that makes economic sense for the state in the first place. If there were no sunset on this legislation as in most states and if it weren't constantly coming up for a vote for renewal, the incentives would just exist as incentives do for countless other industries and businesses and no one would question them.

I don't know what business owner you know and yes, most businesses don't depend 100% on the film industry for every cent they earn, but most people wouldn't want to lose 5% of their business or 5% of their employees either. Chances are what is seen as direct film industry spending, ie productions coming in to buy materials, is not the only revenue any busniess receives from the film industry being here. If folks that live here and work in the industry shop there for personal reasons as well, then that impact is multiplied. And that is what the recent NC State study attempted to demonstrate.

What we need to consider here is not just the incentives and those directly impacted, but what kind of growth this industry and the region could experience here if we were to do away with the sunset and give the opportunities a real chance to grow as they have in Atlanta. New studios, post-production facilities, prop houses, grip and electric rental houses, camera rental supplies, expendable supply houses, truck and vehicle rental suppliers - all of these kinds of support services would anchor here, create permanant jobs, contribute to the tax base and not be subject to the incentives. We could truly approach revenue neutrality then if we don't already. But these businesses will not spend the money necessary to build that infrastructure if they are worried that every three years the incentives could disappear.

What we have now is only a shadow of what we could have and it's mainly limited by the looming presence of the sunset. Do away with the sunset, embrace the film industry as the growth industry it can be, creaeting jobs for the hundreds if not thousands of kids currently studying in film curriculums across the state, and watch NC flourish.

Right now as a percentage of the overall state budget, if Rep Catlin's $33million figure is correct, incentives "cost" the state 0.165% of the total state budget. Less than 2/10th's of a percent. If this is a burden on the tax payers, consider that the state collected $1.1billion in corporate taxes last year and rationalize that the incentives are paid out of corporate taxes and not income taxes.

Or if you want to get a real idea of what they might cost the average resident in NC, if you make the median income of $44,000 and pay a 7% marginal tax rate with no deductions, that means you paid $3080.00 in taxes. If incrementally 0.165% of that went to incentives, that means the incentives "cost" you $5.08. If you make $90,000 and pay the full 7% rate, that means you paid $6300.00 in taxes and the incentives "cost" you $10.40. The marginal rate goes down to 5.8% next year so those "costs" go down to $4.21 and $$8.61 respectively. That doesn't seem like a lot to "pay" to keep several thousand jobs and several hundred million dollars flowing through the state economy. Just trying to put some persepctive on things.