Cronyism got a boost yesterday in the General Assembly. Dan Way reports for Carolina Journal:

State Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, bucked conservative critics who strenuously objected to making a $30-million taxpayer subsidy to Hollywood a permanent annual state allocation.

In fact, he helped lead the charge to approve Senate Bill 582, an omnibus measure that repealed a sunset provision for the Film and Entertainment Grant Program that was scheduled to end in July 2020.

“I asked for this to be put in the bill,” Davis said of the permanency provision. Indeed, he said, $30 million “is not as much as I would have liked to have seen.”

Some takeaways:

Donald Bryson, director of Americans for Prosperity–North Carolina, issued the following notice today on Twitter:

CarolinaCronyismHe’s right to bring accountability. It’s one of those issues where special interests win out easily over working people and small local business enterprises who don’t have the time nor money to lobby for legislators to protect their interests.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The squawking rent-seeker gets public funds.

But that doesn’t change matters. Third-party studies of state film incentives consistently find that they don’t help the state’s economy or other industries. State reviews of their own film incentive programs found them to be net money losers. NC’s previous program was returning only 19 cents per dollar.

In his 2016 study in the academic journal The American Review of Public Administration, Prof. Michael Thom of the University of Southern California found that state film incentive programs have no impact on their states’ economies or industries. He went into great detail explaining why film incentives programs don’t workThey basically just benefit film production companies and current workers.
film studies