NC House candidates Unger, Millis talk film incentives

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — When we asked Steve Unger to talk about film incentives, he said it needs to stay.

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it and it wasn’t broke,” Unger said.

But incumbent Chris Millis says it is “broke” and unconstitutional, saying over all, tax payers are losing money.

“For every dollar a film production spends within filming, they get 25 cents owed to them above and beyond any taxes paid to North Carolina,” Millis said.

Millis says last year the state handed out $84M dollars to the film industry.

“The question is, does it have a return on investment and the answer is, it simply does not,” Millis said.

Unger says he’s concerned about the ripple effect losing thousands of jobs would have, comparing it to Wilmington’s loss of the railroad in the 1850’s.

“Now we’ve got an industry that’s been built up and works and now it’s gonna leave the area,” Unger said. “It’s no different from offering tax breaks to bring an auto manufacturing plant in except it’s on a different level, it’s lots of little jobs.”

When asked how Millis would work to help rebuild and replace the lost jobs if reelected, he said he believes the government needs to take a step back and keep their hands out of it.

“Whenever people have the ability to choose how to spend their own money, you have greater economic growth and greater job growth than politicians choosing how to spend the money of others,” Millis said.

But Unger says the answer is simple:

“We’ve got restore the film incentives,” Unger said. “When we restore, They’ll come back here. That’s what’s worked.”

The candidates will meet at Top Sail High School at 7:00pm for their second forum Thursday night.

Categories: Pender

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