RALEIGH, NC (WWAY/WTVD) -- North Carolina's film industry made another appeal in Raleigh today. Workers fighting for nothing less the industry's very existance, according to advocates, who are concerned that the legislature will let film tax credits go away.
They made their latest pitch at the General Assembly today. Studio execs, lawmakers and industry workers alike warned of dire consequences if the state does not extend the tax credits that go to film production in North Carolina. Movies that have benefited include productions like "Iron Man 3," which shot in and around Wilmington, "The Hunger Games," which shot in the western part of the state, as well as smaller productions and TV shows, like "Secrets & Lies," "Under the Dome" and "Sleepy Hollow," which call Wilmington home.
Supporters say the film industry is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in state revenue over the past couple years and more than 4,000 permanent jobs, which they say will dry up that tax credit isn't renewed.
"If the incentives go away, the industry would go where there are incentives," Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) said. "Most probably it would go immediately to Georgia, South Carolina and then Louisiana."
Critics say the incentives only benefit pockets of North Carolina. They argue taxpayers statewide shouldn't be footing the bill.
"The state of North Carolina, the General Assembly of North Carolina, shouldn't value a film production job over a plumber or furniture production or textile mills or anything like that," said Donald Bryson of the group Americans for Prosperity. "A job is a job is a job."
The current versions of both the House and Senate budgets do include some money for film incentives. Advocates say it's not enough to keep film projects in the state.
During today's event, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo invited Gov. Pat McCrory to Wilmington so he can see the impact film has on the Port City.