Scott Mooneyham has a new column out on the future of incentives for movie and television productions here in North Carolina. He writes that the future of the incentives is in doubt and that at minimum the legislature is likely to have another look at the issue next year. A highlight:
Some GOP legislators don’t like that North Carolina is offering open-ended tax credits, even arguing that they violate the state constitution. At least a few conservative legislators are turned off by the idea of doing anything to benefit an industry that they see as populated by liberal elites and headquartered in the den of hedonism.
Decker, while on record supporting the industry and incentives to bring it here, told the Wilmington newspaper that some changes will be necessary.
“The big question on the table is, ‘How do we continue to help this industry grow in the state?’ she said.
State legislators, in 2014, may force an even bigger question: How much is the industry being here worth?
If more lucrative incentives are required to bring films and TV series here, and if those incentives don’t pay for themselves in any direct calculation, how valuable is the prestige of knowing that Robert Downey Jr. threw on some futuristic-looking suit on a Wilmington street?
Obviously, I think that film industry incentives are a bad idea. That said, there’s no reason for the city of Charlotte to make a decision on the possibility of helping turn the Eastland Mall site into a film studio until after the General Assembly does whatever it does next year. The worst possible outcome for the city is to commit to the project and then see the General Assembly end incentives.