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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Gov. Pat McCrory proposed a new plan for film incentives in his budget plan.

It raises minimum spending, caps the maximum credit and gives local governments power to give up their share of taxes generated.

Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) says the plan introduced in a budget bill Thursday definitely raises concerns.

“Not the least of which is the million-dollar required spend,” Hamilton said.

The bill proposes productions spend at least $1 million to receive the tax credit. That’s up from the current level of $250,000.

It has Hamilton worried “that we will push out some of the smaller more innovative, more local film projects.”

Local film projects that might depend on the local government.

McCrory’s proposal gives some power to county commissions by Letting them vote to give up their share of sales and use taxes productions generate. North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says this opens a door.

“It does is give local governments the opportunity to offer the same type of credit, and right now that’s not possible at a local level,” Decker said during a visit to Wilmington Friday.

But New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says it’s not an opportunity, it’s a burden.

“It’s very important that the state steps up and does what it needs to do,” Barfield said.

Barfield, a Democrat who is also running for Congress, says what the state has proposed is unfair and he does not want to accept the offer.

“I do not at all,” he said. “I think it’s gonna be harmful for the entire state.”

Decker says the entire state has many industries, and film is just one of them.

“We need to know what to expect from a cost standpoint,” Decker said. “We’re trying to attract diversity of jobs to the state and this is one industry of many.”

Hamilton sponsored a bill this week to keep the current film incentives from expiring at the end of the year and increase minimum spending to $300,000. She says the governor’s plan at least opens the door for discussion.

Comment on this Story

  • Trickle Down

    To the previous,

    I’m a republican that works in the film industry; there are a lot of conservatives on the lot. To say this is a partisan issue in the local politics is silly, when Susan Hamilton and Ted Davis sponsored the bill to save the incentives. To my fellow colleagues who argue the other way – it has been both Democrats and Republicans fighting against this incentive. No doubt the film industry is different in the way it operates with one production producing one product but they drop a lot of money in short amount of time. It is certainly evident when we roll into a small town and trickle down economics come to play. The millionaires spends their money on the production, the production spends those dollars on product, service, and labor. Labor spends their money. Everyone in that small town feels the impact… If the industry goes, I guess so will we… We’ll spend and create elsewhere

  • GuestFred

    Textiles? Nope, gone.

    Furniture manufacturing? Nope, gone

    Tobacco? Regulated/taxed nearly out of existence.

    And now, after over 30 years, the film industry-kicked out by our own state government, along with 4000+ jobs.

    SHAMEFUL. What has NC become but a toxic dumping ground of bad ideas and lame-brained ideologues?

  • wilm city here

    thank god u hope they pack up and leave. im a republican we dont need the film people here. go pack up and leave. bye bye bye

  • Vog46

    Other news sources are saying the county would use ROT (Room Occupancy Tax) revenue to help fund this. New Hanover County AND the city of Wilmington are now in a conundrum.
    The county could help out by using ROT – but a lot of ROT revenue is already slated for the Convention Center.
    Redirect the ROT the film industry and it’s still NOT ENOUGH. Route the ROT to the film industry and you’d kill off the convention center in a hurry….
    Now the governor has proposed a budgetary process that will effectively kill off Hamiltons legislation which is now in committee and will most likely die there.
    Film supporters were totally out maneuvered – which is indicative of a weak lobbying effort and certainly a lack of foresight here.
    Who is to blame? That carpenter building sets at MGM?
    The grip working on UTD?
    Or is the REAL failure here Johnny Griffin?


  • Vog46

    Georgia could not handle the extra business. Even with the number of feature films decreasing over the last decade Georgia could not handle it if EVERY single one of ILM’s filming projects went there. TV series need stages and Georgia doesn’t have enough NOW never mind should ILM lose everything.
    The unfortunate thing is film supporters want you to THINK that ILM will lose everything when in fact thats not what happens.
    If I were in film or TV work, I’d be very leery of Georgia getting more business. There’s a healthy and growing anti film incentive movement there, in spite of what the Cathay family may think.
    We shall see what happends


  • guestFred

    So, McCrory and Decker want to take a plan that’s working beautifully and simply, change it to be more complicated and a burden on the counties…yep, that sounds like a brilliant way to say “see, we tried to keep the film industry here, but they didn’t want to come play…oh, well.”

    The Cathy Family has it’s Chick-fil-A claws in deep!


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