Companies that spent more than $250,000 in the state for a project were able to receive a 25 percent refund on qualified spending, with a $20 million cap per project (television series were exempt from that limit).
This tax rebate — which brought movies such as Iron Man 3 and The Hunger Games to the state — has been replaced with a grant program that contains only $10 million total for the first half of 2015.
This new grant program has already driven “Sleepy Hollow”, a Fox series that filmed their first two seasons in North Carolina, to Georgia to film their third season.
Georgia offers a 20 percent tax credit for production companies that spend $500,000 or more and an extra 10 percent tax credit if a promotional logo provided by the state is included in the final product.
The tax rebate didn’t only help the production companies; their independent spending also bolstered North Carolina’s economy.
From 2007 through 2012, the film industry spent $1.02 billion in North Carolina and received a rebate of $112 million. This means that for every dollar production companies received from the rebate, they were spending $9.11.
Along with the boost to the economy, the film industry also provided North Carolinians with jobs. The Motion Picture Association of America Inc. said that the state could lose 4,000 permanent, well-paying jobs.
Possibly the city that is going to receive the biggest hit from the new grant program is Wilmington, also referred to as “Wilmywood”. Many businesses are worried that without the film industry, their revenue is going to wane.
An antique store in Concord was able to rake in over half of their year’s business when The Hunger Games came to town. The producers were attempting to build a market and they did their shopping at the antique store, locally.
The North Carolina film industry has already taken a hit when you compare the 39 movies or series that were shot in the state in 2013 with the three productions that are currently shooting in N.C.
By Sara Svehla