State lawmakers talk film incentives over BBQ

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Submitted: Sat, 05/17/2014 - 2:44am
Updated: Sat, 05/17/2014 - 2:43pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Live music and southern cooking. For the 11th year, elected officials enjoyed barbecue by the river.

The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce hosts the event as a way to say thank you to elected officials. While they were gathered together we asked about film incentives set to expire at the end of the year. Representative Ted Davis says he’s hopeful they will continue.

“It’s such an important issue. Not only for the state of North Carolina, but especially New Hanover County,” Davis said.

Earlier this month, supporters united for the NC film rally. While locals are passionate, Representative Rick Catlin says the state isn’t seeing the same benefit. “According to fiscal research the return on investment state-wide is not as good.” Catlin says in order to continue incentives, there needs to be a compromise.

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8 Comments on "State lawmakers talk film incentives over BBQ"

2015 years 8 months ago

there may be some incentive; but I don’t see how it can be significant. There just is no funding available for a proven money losing initiative.

That said, the current program expires at the end of the fiscal year; it will take some politically strong legislator to put an amendment item in the proposed budget; secure the votes required to pass it; and then secure the Governor’s signature.

Remember, in the event no budget amendment is approved, the budget approved last year for the 2014-2015 fiscal year takes over; and there is no extension in it.

It’s reported Mr. Rabon and Ms Hamilton garner rental income as a result of the film industry. If true, they must abstain from any vote.

If it comes down to film incentives or teacher and state employee pay raises, even a nit wit knows which has the broader statewide impact; which has the broader support in both Houses; and which is less toxic.

The film industry family and their supporters are their worse enemies. Rather than getting up to Raleigh every day to plead their case, they stand around and wail the “earth is doomed” song.

I suggested they could create their own incentive. Rebate 20% of what they earn or are paid for services. The state could match that by rebating actual sales taxes collected on eligible expenditures. After all, isn’t 80% of something better than 0%? Have not seen any film industry family members touch that 1.

Time will tell; the sessionis not that long. I guess we’ll see if they continue the wailing song or get up to Raleigh to make their case; at the very least, send their Executive Johnny up there to make the case.

2015 years 8 months ago

After reading this, and other stories, I am getting more and more certain there will be incentives but as Ms Decker said with “massive restructuring.”
That said – I wonder what the Legislature will do? They certainly don’t want to chase away jobs but by the same token they cannot cut back on other give aways without cutting back on this one.
It will get very interesting if the Legislature kills off incentives completely……


2015 years 8 months ago

you can do?

This is not about the film industry per se.

This is about an attempt to coerce the State Legislature to continue bribing the film industry producers who have no loyalty to NC or any other region.

This is about a state budget process which must allocate available tax revenue to meet the critical needs of operating the State. And they must do so without borrowing further funds and repaying previously borrowed funds.

You may be correct; I may know absolutely nothing about the film industry.

I am pretty well versed in economics, accounting, and fiscal performance. I know how to develop a business plan and budget; and I know how to turn a profit. The film industry family hasn’t got a clue.

I am very well versed in the legislative process and lobbying.

So far the local film industry personnel have displayed a complete lack of knowledge.

Crying that doom and gloom, the earth is ending mantra in an attempt to frighten legislators has not worked and will not work. Film incentives are not that high on the list of priorities in Raleigh. Legislators are not going to approve a film incentive package at the expense of educator and state employee wage increases.

Biting the hand that would feed you, by vocally and publicly criticizing the Governor (who signs the budget into effect) and the Legislators (who will amend the proposed budget) is pretty stupid and arrogant. And, it failed.

I’ve been in Raleigh since the Legislature convened its session. It’s a short session. A number of groups have been present. Have not seen any film industry group working the halls; trying to present its case and build a concensus of support. What does that tell you?

1 final note. The Lone Ranger knows there are a finite number of silver bullets in his 6 shooters. He thinks twice before he aims and fires a round. It’s pretty evident the film industry and their supporters lack an understanding of how the legislative process works and how to effectively present their case. And it appears they’ve shot their rounds and missed the target.

2015 years 8 months ago

You two really need to take your bromance off-line.

Your mutual vitriol and total ignorance toward the film industry unites your hearts and who knows what else.

We all get it. When the film industry goes, what will y’all moan about?

2015 years 8 months ago

Rick Catlin is showing true statesman qualities. He’s concerned about the WHOLE state and the WHOLE state’s economic benefits. What he’s really doing is pandering for wider recognition at the expense of his local (those who were stupid enough to elect him) constituency. Hey, when Rick gets richer storing coal ash, I’m sure he’ll let some of his wealth trickle down to the rest of the local economy.

2015 years 8 months ago

When will elbow-rubbing time come for the taxpayers to express their viewpoints? It is their money.

2015 years 8 months ago

I thought the same thing in SC when Gov Sanford veto’d theirs however, the legislature was significantly snow balled by the industry and frankly were star struck – so they over rode the Governor.

I;m not sure why they haven’t been in Raleigh in greater numbers – I’m sure they have lobbyists but a show of force (peaceful force) is a very big thing for legislators to see, and the several hundred here in town was a huge disappointment for supporters.

As for them giving up money? Nah I don’t buy that.

Like you said – we’ll see


2015 years 8 months ago

A couple of points.

To the best of my knowledge, SC was not saddled with $2.4 Billion in Federal debt which requires repayment.

SC has a history of being pro-active in seeking out expansion opportunities. They have the ability to seek.

Case in point — the ill fated tire factory. When that became available, NC had a Secretary of Commerce and contingent attending a trade fair in Paris. So did SC; their representation included the Governor. SC sent their group, including the Governor to Germany; established some personal contact; determined what was needed to secure the program; showed real interest and a go gettum spirit. NC sent no one to Germany. Personal initiatives count over there.

For this to be a political home run for the movie family, they’ve waited too long. They spent too much time spouting off and spreading doom and gloom. They should have been working on this for the past year. First, they should have identified and courted influential members in both Houses. They should have made their case to them; enlisted their aid in spreading the gospel; been communicating with additional Legislators; building a consensus that incentives were the right thing to do. And, they should have been focusing on Legislators not located in southeastern NC.

They chose not to. Effectively, their negative campaign focused on the Legislature; that was akin to a dog biting the hand that feeds it.

Regardless of the industry, I’ve never seen a negative campaign work.

Forrest Gump could have done a better job. Who do they have in Wilmington to do the job?