North Carolina’s governor recently remarked he would like to see changes to the state’s film incentive program.
Although the specifics haven’t been detailed yet, during Wednesday’s press conference on his proposed budget Gov. Pat McCrory said he wants to see legislators encourage capital investment in long-term studios to take the place of TV and film crews coming to the state for brief amounts of times, using money that “could have gone to teachers.”
The current structure of the film incentive, which is set to end in 2015, is a 25 percent tax credit awarded to filmmakers. The year before the incentive went into place, state documents show that film productions spent $1.5 million in the state and created 16 jobs. A year after the incentive was put in place, the numbers jumped to $117 million spent in the state by film productions and a whopping 8,833 jobs created. Numbers dropped sharply in 2010, but thanks to the filming of “Iron Man 3” and “The Hunger Games,” about 20,000 jobs were created by the film industry in 2012.
Meanwhile, surrounding states have similar incentives, and Georgia maintains a permanent film incentive to attract filmmakers.
North Carolina Department of Commerce Sharon Decker says she thinks film companies will continue to return to the Tar Heel state, even if the program is changed during the legislative session.
“I do, I hope that after the session is done that there will be a proven commitment not only on the governor’s part, but the legislature’s part to keep the industry growing in North Carolina,” says Decker, according to the Dept. of Commerce.
“The governor is including in his budget a provision for some action to encourage the growth of the industry. It will be laid out in detail next week in the budget bill. I think I have stated very openly somehow we have to make whatever incentive we put in place less expensive to the state, we’ve got to reduce the cost. So, we’ve been looking over the last year at a lot of different alternatives.”
By Dawn Kurry