by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Apparently North Carolina isn’t the only state getting partially out of film incentives but certainly not out of state incentives. A changing of the cronies is definitely upsetting to the former cronies, but to taxpayers and unfavored businesses, nothing changes.
The major showdown of the Legislature’s special session to approve $1.25 billion in tax breaks for electric-car maker Tesla Motors, was won by Gov. Sandoval late Wednesday night. … Sandoval’s Tesla plan will sweep $70 million of the film-production tax-credit program’s $80 million total.
Locker Room readers will find an additional irony in the More Favored Crony being Tesla, which — when it isn’t relying on tax credits and subsidies — likes to wave the banner of entrepreneurship against cronyism for its competitors.
Speaking of film incentives, last week The News & Observer published a column on the “true value” of the incentives. It included a list of several noteworthy films shot in North Carolina. You might remember a previous entry here, titled “They probably expect you don’t know we didn’t have film incentives until 2005,” which observed,
You can almost count upon op-eds and editorials written in favor of keeping North Carolina’s film incentives to cite popular, well-known North Carolina productions such as “Bull Durham” (1988), “Dirty Dancing” (1987), “Last of the Mohicans” (1992), “Dawson’s Creek’ (1998-2003), etc. in making their case. Even though those examples preceded the incentives by years, even decades.
The column doesn’t disappoint:
According to visitnc.com, since 1980 over 800 films have been shot in North Carolina, many of which are considered icons of American film: “Forrest Gump,” “Last of the Mohicans,” “The Color Purple,” “The Fugitive.” North Carolina has also produced some of pop culture’s most memorable television shows, including “Matlock,” “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill.”
Here is that breakdown: