21 Comments for this article

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Film crew sets up a shot at White Front Breakfast House on Market Street in downtown Wilmington for an upcoming TNT show, "Good Behavior." (Photo: Matt Miller/StarNews)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Gov. Roy Cooper wants to revive a tax incentive for film and tv productions.

The Film and Entertainment Tax Incentive was part of the budget proposal the governor revealed today in Durham.

The proposed incentive would provide up to $9 million for each television series, $12 million for each feature film and $250,000 for commercials.

Under the proposal, projects would need to spend $1 million per episode for a tv series, $5 million for feature films and $250,000 for commercials. Those minimums are the same that are currently in place under the current NC Film and Entertainment Grant Program. But there is one big difference. The current grant program has a $30 million cap, but the proposed tax incentive would not have an annual cap, much like the version of the film incentive the state had in place up until January of 2015.

Film incentives have long been a contentious topic in Raleigh.

In 2014, then-Governor Pat McCrory overhauled the film incentive program and created a grant program instead. The film incentive program offered qualifying productions a 25% refundable credit, instead of a flat $10 million grant.

Not long after the grant program went into effect in 2015, the Wilmington Regional Film Commissioner and city leaders held a news conference saying the grant program was not enough to support the industry.

Eventually, lawmakers agreed to increase the grant program from $10 million to $30 million annually over two years.

During this time, Wilmington saw productions such as ‘Under the Dome’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’ leave the area for other states, but TNT series ‘Good Behavior’ set up shop and received money from the grant program and just last month announced it would return to Wilmington, where it will receive a grant amount of up to $9 million dollars.

The new film incentive proposal would go into effect in January.

According to Governor Cooper’s office, it would cost the state $20 million next year and $40 million a  year thereafter.  $15 million was put into the budget for fiscal year 2017-18 to fund the current film grant program to smooth the transition until January 2018.





Comment on this Story

  • Heimie Schmelter

    There was no sarcasm and certainly nothing nasty at all intended. I simply statred a few realities that probably are comfortable to you. Look, I completely understand your needs and wants to have jobs! We all have families to feed, house, clothe and educate. All of that is admirable and fully justifiable.
    The problem with this whole thing is; the people you work for are bathing in deep pools of money, yet still expect the taxpayers to give THEM “incentives” so that YOU guys have jobs to support your families? Can’t you see the SNAFU in all of that?
    You’re yelling and complaining at the wrong people! Go to the people in the movie business that are stuffing their pockets with millions and don’t really care whether you work or not! If I were you, I’d go find jobs that require the talents you use in the movie industry with those that will appreciate you talents and skills and won’t treat you like some sort of throw-away vagabonds and pick up new ones at the next set.

    • Andy Bader


      Are you against incentives or rebates in all forms? Did you ever stop to wonder why pretty much every company in exist offers coupons, rebates, or discounts in some form?

      If a guy walks up to you and two of your friends and says, “I need to give one of you $100, but I’m not sure who,” and you say, “I’ll give you $10 back if you do,” you didn’t lose $10, you made $90.

      Obviously the math is more complex, but it seems simplicity is important here.

  • surfcitytom

    He’s making some big promises. Teacher raises, film incentives. How will these be funded? And what other promises will be forthcoming? It took a focused effort by former Governor Pat McCrory to pay off all of the federal debt which had been incurred under Easley and Perdue. The legislature is going to look closely at his budget proposal. Ad he’s going to need to understand compromise.

    • guest45

      surfcitytom, you are one that get’s it, McCrory dug us put from under massive debt created by Hunt, Easley, and Perdue and had this state paying their way again, Cooper comes along promising bathroom access to perverts and here we go again, all Cooper wants to do is SPEND like a drunken sailor, with no regard for our dbt or the time he will ask to steal more money from the taxpayer, NC will never learn.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    Yes, time to join the bidding war once again. Because Louisiana will up theirs, them Georgia will top both of us, until Canada goes even further. Then we can up ours, and it all starts again.

    Meanwhile, the production companies will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    Mentioning “surplus” around a Democrat is like mentioning booze around an alcoholic.

    • Vog46

      Louisiana capped theirs as it wasn’t returning anything to the state

  • Kevin Michael Stone


  • Heimie Schmelter

    And so continues Cooper the pooper scoopers plan to waste yet more taxpayer money and completely gut the current state budget surplus. All just to issue checks of MY money to pretending actors that have nothing better to do than live in an imaginary world of KUMBAYA, bashing our president and complaining because radical Muslims are being prevented from entering our country. Geeeeez!

    • catie

      it will give the people that work in production that are from the state jobs. I grew up in NC and had to move out of state to get any work in production jobs after 2012 because movies/tv shows were leaving NC for states that provided incentives. It also brings money to local businesses because the movie/tv show budgets money for food and local workers they hire everything in state including equipement minus the producers and the actors/ even then extras are always from the state. This kind of work is supporting job creation and bringing more money to local businesses. are you saying you don’t support job creation and local businesses from your own state.

      • Heimie Schmelter

        I’m not saying that I don’t support “job creation” or “support for local businesses” by any means! I’m saying “our” tax money shouldn’t have to pay for that! With the gazillions the movie makers are making and stuffing in theirs AND the actors deep pockets, they should be able to support themselves without tax welfare from me and the other hard working tax payers in this town!
        What I do NOT support are a bunch of overpaid, loudmouthed, left-wing, whiney-butted Trump bashers that threaten to leave the country but fail to live up to their PROMISE! I won’t waste another silly nickle on another movie ticket for a puke-inducing movie production that I have to walk out of half way through as long as I have a decent book to read and I’m not close to running out.
        I don’t give a rat’s backside about the movies or the people involved with them. Go get an education in science, engineering or medicine and stop being forced as a dependent, groveling nomad to the traveling caravan of movie gypsies that use you AND our tax money to get themselves filthy rich all the while you worry about where your next meal and cocktail is going to come from!

      • Vog46

        We’ve been through this before. film people like to say film incentives result in indirect spending across the board for restaurants, hotels etc. however the “multiplier” the film industry used was so far out of whack it was laughable. Many STATES including NC found that the multipliers were wrong and that film incentives were NOT cost effective. That is why many states have cut back and/or eliminated the incentives altogether to include MA, NJ, Louisiana others.
        The real shame here is that politicians of BOTH parties fell for this drivel.
        Capping the incentives was a good idea and remains a good idea. Bringing back Teir One film incentives is wrong on multiple levels including the fact that government should not be picking and choosing who they support
        Unaffiliated and darned proud of it

    • Kevin Michael Stone

      WRONG! Do your homework. Do you know what the word CREW MEANS!? For every actor there are dozens and dozens of regular people like me working Pre Production, Production, and Post Production. From carpenters, to electricians, decorators, Teamsters, painters, welders, accountants, office jobs, caterers, EXTRAS, MOSTLY ALL LOCAL HIRES! There are hundreds of high paying jobs WITH BENEFITS per production. ( HOW many companies these days give benefits 100%employer paid benefits insurance 401k and pension?!! HARDLY ANY!) Know your facts!

      • Heimie Schmelter

        I know my facts very well Mr. Stone! The FACT is, get all of the high rolling, gazillion dollar making, pocket stuffing directors, actors and producers to pay your way! Don’t burden taxpayers to pay for your movies to be made here! You don’t understand how to earn a paycheck much less understand ANYTHING about basic economics!
        A REAL business, especially one where “actors” are making millions upon millions of dollars (not to mention directors, producers, etc.) should NOT need “tax incentives” to do business here! That’s utterly ridiculous! Put your “blame” in their court, not the taxpayers! They’re rich, they’re selfish, greedy and playing you like a cheap violin!

  • Sunshine1011


    These are multi billion dollar companies, we do NOT need to be giving them our tax money!!!

    • Kevin Michael Stone

      Do your homework! For every one actor, 15 regular Joe shmos like me get hired as CREW. Actually do the research before you make such blind sided assumtions

  • Andy Bader

    As an NC film worker, I’m hoping and praying that this brings back the industry. A lot of my friends have moved. I don’t want to uproot my family. I want to continue living here (and paying taxes and spending my paychecks here)!

    • Heimie Schmelter

      Andy, anyone that lives here spends their paycheck and pays their taxes here (unless you’re an illegal alien), so thanks for that brilliant summation of your contributions to our area! What is it that makes you “believe” the taxpayers are supposed to provide “welfare” to keep your industry here when the movie makers have plenty of money? Have you noticed the pay rates of the execs? the producers? The directors? The actors? Hint: Count ALL of the zeros BEFORE the decimal point!
      Pay better attention and you won’t get screwed so easily! We do…and we aren’t!!!

  • Vog46

    Film incentives are a waste of time and money
    This makes the budget a non starter for me
    As for Education? Yeah the spending there should increase

    Unaffiliated and darned proud of it

    • Kevin Michael Stone

      Do your research, to someone that knows what they are talking about(because I’ve worked in the Industry for 11 years) you sound really ignorant

      • Vog46

        “Like a Hollywood fantasy, claims that tax subsidies for film and TV productions — which nearly every state has adopted in recent years — are cost-effective tools of job and income creation are more fiction than fact. In the harsh light of reality, film subsidies offer little bang for the buck.

        State film subsidies are costly to states and generous to movie producers. Today, 43 states offer them, compared to only a handful in 2002. Over the course of state fiscal year 2010 (FY2010), states committed about $1.5 billion to subsidizing film and TV production (see Appendix Table 1) — money that they otherwise could have spent on public services like education, health care, public safety, and infrastructure. The median state gives producers a subsidy worth 25 cents for every dollar of subsidized production expense. The most lucrative tax subsidies are Alaska’s and Michigan’s, 44 cents and 42 cents on the dollar, respectively. Moreover, special rules allow film companies to claim a very large credit even if they lose money— as many do.
        Subsidies reward companies for production that they might have done anyway. Some makers of movie and TV shows have close, long-standing relationships with particular states. Had those states not introduced or expanded film subsidies, most such producers would have continued to work in the state anyway. But there is no practical way for a state to limit subsidies only to productions that otherwise would not have happened.
        The best jobs go to non-residents. The work force at most sites outside of Los Angeles and New York City lacks the specialized skills producers need to shoot a film. Consequently, producers import scarce, highly paid talent from other states. Jobs for in-state residents tend to be spotty, part-time, and relatively low-paying work — hair dressing, security, carpentry, sanitation, moving, storage, and catering — that is unlikely to build the foundations of strong economic development in the long term.
        Subsidies don’t pay for themselves . The revenue generated by economic activity induced by film subsidies falls far short of the subsidies’ direct costs to the state. To balance its budget, the state must therefore cut spending or raise revenues elsewhere, dampening the subsidies’ positive economic impact.
        No state can “win” the film subsidy war . Film subsidies are sometimes described as an “investment” that will pay off by creating a long-lasting industry. This strategy is dubious at best. Even Louisiana and New Mexico — the two states most often cited as exemplars of successful industry-building strategies — are finding it hard to hold on to the production that they have lured. The film industry is inherently risky and therefore dependent on subsidies.
        Consequently, the competition from other states is fierce, which suggests that states might better spend their money in other ways.
        Supporters of subsidies rely on flawed studies. The film industry and some state film offices have undertaken or commissioned biased studies concluding that film subsidies are highly cost-effective drivers of economic activity. The most careful, objective studies find just the opposite.”

        Keep trying Kevin
        There are many MANY studies completely refuting what you believe but WWAY does not allow me to link to them anymore

  • guest45

    Cooper will not quit spending until he has this state broke again, we better hope our reps will tow the line and reign in his open checkbook or we will all be paying the price.

Related News