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film300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 03/31/2009 - 3:27pm.

Wilmington is the kind of place where our local streets and buildings commonly turn into TV and movie sets. Cape Fear Community College regularly appears on One Tree Hill. Just how busy those sets are is important to our local economy and just how busy they'll be depends upon what's going on in Raleigh. Right now, there's an incentive war going on among states trying to get a piece of the movie and TV business. Some are offering 25, 30, and even 40% tax breaks. It makes North Carolina’s 15% pale in comparison and presents a tough choice for state legislators in a tight economy. "You don't want to get to the point where the incentives are greater than the money that's going to get produced for you,” said Representative Bonner Stiller. Senator Julia Boseman sponsored the bill in the senate that would raise the tax break to 25%. "I think given the economic situation this is absolutely the right time.” But a competing bill sponsored by Senator Phil Berger would leave the incentive at 15% and put further artistic and financial controls on producers. Boseman's not sure how this will play out. "I'm really happy that one of the appropriations co-chairs has signed on to the bill. We'll just have to battle it out in the back." To that end, the state's film industry is doing its homework in order to back up its case with hard numbers. The local film community contends that this is one of those times that you have to adjust to stay in the game. Both competing bills are currently in committee and have not been scheduled for debate.

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