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Wilmington, New Hanover leaders push for legislative session on film incentives

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Local leaders are asking state leaders to call lawmakers back to Raleigh to discuss film incentives.

Members of the New Hanover County Commission and Wilmington City Council signed a joint letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger yesterday asking them to call for a special legislative session to "reconsider film incentives that will better serve North Carolina in remaining marketable and competitive" in the film industry.

"For over three decades, our region has served as a hub for film in North Carolina and the United States," the letter reads. "This clean and innovative industry and the numerous video, television and film productions it generates bring great notoriety and revenue to both our region and the state. However, the lack of action by the General Assembly to sustain a strong incentive program puts in jeopardy this existing industry, state and local economies, associated investments, infrastructure, tourism, and many varied direct and indirect jobs."

Along with the letter, leaders sent copies of the New Hanover County video "Economic Development – the Film Industry" was included with each letter.

The state budget adopted last month makes significant changes and cuts to the current film incentive plan. Critics of it say it could lead to the death of North Carolina's film industry, which has included numerous movies and TV shows, many of which shot in and around Wilmington.

A spokesman for the governor says there is no update on calling a special session.

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