Tea Party Kills Job Creation In North Carolina
[su_right_ad]Nice going, Tea Party! Looks like you — and hard right multimillionaire Art Pope, who has essentially bought the legislature and state house — have dealt another blow to state jobs by driving television and film production out of state!
As California moves closer to quadrupling tax incentives for film production, North Carolina is moving in the opposite direction, cutting its program this week by two-thirds. The Tar Heel state joins a growing list of those that have scaled back their incentives programs or eliminated them altogether.
Pushback from Tea Party ideologues who oppose all forms of tax incentives that favor one industry over another is largely responsible for the growing trend. That’s especially true in red states whose legislatures or state houses are dominated by fiscal conservatives — as is the case in North Carolina. “The Tea Party faction played a huge role,” said an entertainment-industry source familiar with the situation in the state. “It’s not just about film incentives; it’s about an anti-government spending philosophy across the board.”
[su_r_sky_ad]Beginning January 1, North Carolina will replace its 25% refundable tax credit with a $10 million competitive grant program, capped at $5 million per production. Funding for the program will be cut from $60 million a year to $10 million. The MPAA had urged NC legislators to continue funding at current levels, which the trade association says was responsible for more than 12,000 jobs in the state (including more than 3,000 production jobs) and more than $538 million in wages from production and distribution-related jobs. “It’s disappointing that the new grant program included in the budget agreement will prevent North Carolina from remaining competitive in attracting this prominent source of in-state economic activity,” MPAA spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said.
Recent films and TV shows shot in the state include The Hunger Games, Iron Man 3, Tammy, Homeland, Under The Dome and Eastbound And Down.