To: The North Carolina State House, The North Carolina State Senate, and Governor Roy Cooper
NC Film Incentives SUNSET
North Carolina citizens, business owners and filmed-entertainment tradespeople implore our State Representatives to REPEAL THE JANUARY 1, 2015 SUNSET from our current Film Incentive Program.
The current Film Incentive Program is Competitive, Easy-to-Navigate, Profitable and Sustainable. Since becoming law in 2010, the Program has: created thousands of crew positions, along with many more opportunities for on-screen talent; driven hundreds of millions of dollars into the North Carolina economy; bolstered tourism across the State.
A stable Film Incentive Program encourages meaningful investment in infrastructure as companies locate their businesses in North Carolina to support productions taking advantage of the rebate. Repealing the January 1, 2015 Film Incentive Sunset will send a clear message to producers, studios and networks that North Carolina is permanently open for feature, TV series, commercial and industrial production.
The current Film Incentive Program is effective and THE SPIRIT OF THE EXISTING LEGISLATION (HB 1973; HB 713) MUST NOT BE ALTERED. Adding caps and unnecessary bureaucracy (project oversight, script approvals, et-cetera) would immediately make our popular (yet by most measures, conservative), Film Incentive Program less competitive and would drive business to other markets.
Repealing the January 1, 2015 Sunset is easy and will have an immediate, measurable effect on North Carolina's ability to attract more productions and the myriad ancillary long-term benefits derived from this business.
NOW is the time to permanently set the foundation for a new North Carolina industry that was poured in 2010 by Repealing the January 1, 2015 Film Incentive Sunset.
Why is this important?
North Carolina is enjoying unprecedented growth in Feature Film, TV series and Commercial productions as a direct result of our competitive, easy-to-navigate, profitable and sustainable Film Incentive Program.
Thousands of jobs have been created and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in North Carolina towns from the Atlantic coast to the mountains in the West.
Now, our Program is under DIRECT THREAT as lawmakers consider pulling the Film Incentive under a sweeping "reform" platform that will literally drive a billion dollar industry to neighboring states like Georgia, where a stable program has helped to build a billion-dollar industry.
If our Film Incentive Program is allowed to lapse or if it is capped and bogged-down in bureaucracy, productions will simply find friendlier markets (like Atlanta) for their work. The departure will be nearly instantaneous.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS SPENT ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA...
Since the Film Incentive Program started in 2010, nearly $500M has already been driven directly into every corner of North Carolina. These taxable production dollars immediately benefit vendors who supply goods and services to the productions wherever they work throughout the state. Restaurants, hotels, antique shops, catering interests, clothing stores, furniture outlets, car rental agencies, lumber and hardware companies are just a few examples of the established brick-and-mortar businesses that directly benefit from increased business due to the current Film Incentive Program.
See annual reports here: http://www.ncfilm.com/incentive-reports.html
Since 2010, thousands of crew positions have been created, along with many more acting roles. With over 14,000 jobs and positions recorded in 2012, more North Carolinians are at work than ever before in the filmed-entertainment industry. Entertainment jobs are REAL JOBS. As it is in other industries (like construction or the IT Industry), producers, directors, actors, actresses and trades professionals may have more employers in a given year than their neighbors do. And they're working hard - it isn't uncommon for these creative professionals to log more than 2400 cumulative hours in a given year (compared to about 2,000 for an office employee)! Filmed-entertainment employees pay taxes and buy homes and put their kids in local schools. AND... THEY VOTE. The only difference is that they just happen to work around a camera instead of in a cubicle or behind a counter.
LURING PERMANENT BUSINESS AND JOBS BY CREATING THE MARKET...
Repealing the January 1, 2015 Sunset from our current Film Incentive Program will tell producers, studios and networks that North Carolina is truly (and permanently) open for their business. Once our program is finally stable, North Carolina will see infrastructure improvements (studios, post-production houses, et-cetera) and permanent jobs as companies flock to our state to service the incoming productions. No meaningful investment and infrastructure improvements will come to our State (solid-line business) if the productions (dotted-line business) taking advantage of the Film Incentive Program stop working in North Carolina. That is a cold, hard FACT.
DON'T FIX WHAT ISN'T BROKEN...
It is very important that North Carolina lawmakers know that the current Film Incentive Program is effective and that THE SPIRIT OF THE EXISTING LEGISLATION (HB 1973; HB 713) MUST NOT BE ALTERED. Adding caps and unnecessary bureaucracy (project oversight, script approvals, et-cetera) would immediately make our popular (yet by most measures, conservative), Film Incentive Program less competitive and would drive business to other markets. In places like Michigan and Florida, unnecessary hurdles and false ceilings repel production business.
North Carolina is SMARTER and our message to lawmakers is simple:
Film Incentives Put North Carolina To Work - REPEAL THE JANUARY 1, 2015 SUNSET TODAY!!!
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