Wilmywood rejects proposed reform that would hobble current film incentives.

| April 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Film industry rally opposing hb 994, Wilmington, NC. Copyright Casting Carolina

Local and state film industry professionals swarmed in downtown Wilmington on Saturday afternoon converging on the corner of Market and Water streets to protest the HB 994 bill introduced in the NC state legislature. The bill is thought by many to be a direct threat to the state’s film industry as it’s purpose would essentially make the current tax incentives in the state worthless.

Copyright Casting Carolina

Copyright Casting Carolina

The bill HB 994- Sponsored by three republicans and one democrat, seeks to replace or reform the method of payment of the current payable tax credit with one that may be used only by companies who come back and film again as a credit toward future tax liabilities 5 years forward.

The mayor, City officials and both republican and democrat politicians spoke at the rally sending the message that this was not a partisan issue but a common sense rejection of the idea that the current incentives should be dismantled. They spoke of how this is a clean industry that is bringing millions of dollars to the state every year by employing thousands of North Carolinians and paying for products and services etc.

crowd2Makeshift signs dotted the scene as hundreds of people gathered around the stage where the speakers took turns at the microphone and chanting echoed in the streets- “Film equal jobs!” Among those attending were many familiar faces from  productions filmed in the area as well as many business owners.

Current North Carolina film incentive offers a 25% refundable tax credit to companies spending a minimum of $250,000 and has a cap of $20 million (television series are not subject to per project cap) offers fee-free usage for state owned property. Qualified projects are- Feature Films / Direct-to-Video / Episodic Television Series / Movies of the Week / Television Mini-Series / Reality Television / Commercials / Documentaries / Animation Productions / Webisodes

HB 994 is co-sponsored by Rep. Rick Catlin (R-New Hanover) and Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender), Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham) There is a good deal of confusion about the bill that Rep. Rick Caitlin says is “not a jobs killer but a reform”.  Worth noting is that one of the bill’s sponsors, Rick Catlin (R-New Hanover) says that he does not expect the bill to pass.

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About the Author ()

Jason Saucier was born in Burbank, California and raised in and around New Orleans which is his family's native home. He began working in the film industry in the mid 1980's and has been residing in North Carolina since the turn of the century.

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