by Dr. Roy Cordato
Senior Economist, Emeritas
It appears that the General Assembly has come to agreement on a budget for the remainder of the 2013-2015 cycle and as part of the bill the GA will continue to subsidize the movie industry with cash grants totaling $10 million. Prior to this budget the program has consisted of refundable tax credits, like those that are given to poor working class people under the Federal earned income tax program, and the total amount that could be received by the industry was unlimited.
But instead of showing gratitude to North Carolina tax taxpayers for this generous $10 million gift and telling us that maybe next year they will be in a position where they can make it on their own, industry representatives, expressing no shame, are whining. Apparently $10 million over a six month period is not enough. Industry representative Katy Feinberg is quoted in the the Wilmington Star News as saying “We are saddened by this $10 million appropriation.” (I too am saddened by it, probably for very different reasons.) But hope springs eternal, she continues her special interest pleading by stating that “the end credits on this legislative session have not rolled yet. We’re hopeful that leadership can find their way to a more competitive compromise…”
Ok, movie industry, how much more of our tax money do you want and where should it come from? A smaller teacher or state trooper pay raise? More cuts in Medicaid? Ten million was added to the Opportunity Scholarship programs. The legislature could double your corporate welfare check by eliminating that. You want more money. You should at least be adult enough to tell us how much and where it should come from.