by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
That is how the film industry treats North Carolina’s film tax credit, as my newsletter discusses. With the tax credit, the state’s film industry is an economic dynamo, but it’s an economic dynamo that absolutely could not survive any change to the state’s film incentives.
Sound self-contradictory? Well, as I’ve done before, I created a chart compiling arguments made in two different news stories about the film industry showing how the tax credit’s supporters go back and forth between describing the film industry here as incredibly strong or incredibly weak.
|NC’s film industry is incredibly strong||NC’s film industry is incredibly weak|
|“It does create jobs. It does induce spending in North Carolina. That’s real economic impact,” said Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Commission.||“If the incentive goes away, it decimates this industry,” said Aaron Syrett, director of the state film office.|
|Advocates say the incentives have led to hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, brought recognition to the state and sustained an industry with as many as 4,000 employees here.||“If the film incentives were to sunset tomorrow, the trucks would be loaded tomorrow and go back to California or somewhere else. The finances drive the industry right now,” said Dale Williams, a unit production manager for the CBS drama “Under the Dome.”|
|In a letter to Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker last month, Vans Stevenson, senior vice president for the Motion Picture Association of America, estimated that Fox’s “Homeland” series and the pilot for “Sleepy Hollow” have already created 1,500 jobs.||Stevenson said North Carolina was “at a crucial economic development tipping point” and warned that the state was already losing productions to other states.|
|“Television and film companies make an enormous investment in the state,” Williams said.||“I can tell you if there is no movement between now and next June, I will be scouting the rest of the country for a new location,” she said.|
|“We’ve got to have some kind of major industry,” Coffey said when asked about whether the state should continue the film credits.||“I wish it were otherwise,” said the film commission’s Syrett. “But without the incentive, the industry will leave North Carolina.”|
Yeesh. Looks like the film industry is going to give the solar industry significant competition for this year’s coveted Pu Yi Award for needing to remain on the public teat the longest.