Flim Flam Film Incentives

Alysia Finley in a WSJ piece today breaks down the film flam game of the Hollywood industry, their dirty little secrets, special deals for their millionaires’ clubs, hustlers in for a quick hook-up and pick-pockets preying on taxpayers.

North Carolina, one of the forty states that have given into the Hollywood hustlers, gets a shout-out for our three year $170 Million sham game:

In 2010, North Carolina boosted its tax credit to 25% from 15%, and raised the per-project cap to $20 million from $7.5 million to lure major titles like “Iron Man 3” ($20 million tax credit), “Hunger Games” ($13.8 million) and “Homeland” ($9 million), records from the state’s film office show. Also taking advantage of the taxpayer largess have been TV shows that were incidentally shooting in the Tar Heel State, like “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart ($273,346) and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon ” ($116,989). Commercials for Pepsi ($507,224), Diet Mountain Dew ($330,938) and Planters peanuts ($93,220) have also exploited the open-ended incentive.

The General Assembly and the Governor are struggling to find ways to increase pay for our teachers.  As I write this, the budget writers are deep in conference negotiations. The film flam artists from the film industry were able to get a new grant program for themselves – $20 Million – slipped into the House version of the budget.  Let’s hope someone on that conference committee is standing up for the taxpayers of North Carolina and says no to the Hollywood flim flam film hustlers.

Last year, the General Assembly and the Governor enacted comprehensive tax reform that evens out our tax code, making it fair by eliminating special treatment for special interests.  Eliminating the special favors for the film industry is another step in tax fairness – are they serious or not?

Becki Gray / Senior Vice President

Becki Gray is Senior Vice President of the John Locke Foundation. She provides information, consultation, and publications to elected officials, government staff and other dec...

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