Carolina Journal reports on the odd interest by some in the legislature to restore the state’s old film tax incentives.
Meanwhile, out-of-state film producers are still openly trying to dictate their social agenda to North Carolina policymakers. The Obama-affiliated Netflix is producing a series on the Outer Banks to be filmed in South Carolina, not here,
because of provisions of the partially repealed HB2, which required people to use gendered bathrooms based on their biological sex.
Pate said Netflix doesn’t like a particular clause in the replacement bill, one that forbids towns and cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to skirt the bill’s requirements.
That clause expires at the end of 2020, but Pate told the Star News that if state lawmakers can push to end it sooner, the show might still be filmed in North Carolina.
(Aside: This is the weirdest extortion attempt ever. If you don’t do what I demand, then … I won’t take your money!)
There are plenty of reasons to avoid going to the only film incentive program that’s worse than the current film production grants program. At least the grant program is constitutional, with a set amount appropriated to it. The old film tax incentives offered open-ended, refundable tax credits, which amounted to unappropriated open draws on the state treasury.
Here is information about film production incentives for policymakers and anyone else interested in the issue:
- Research finds that they benefit only outside film production companies, not their host states
- State reviews of their own incentives consistently find them to be net revenue losers for their states
- Reviews by both the state Commerce Dept. and the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly found the old film tax incentives program to be a net revenue loser for North Carolina
- Research finds that, even if the policy goal is overtly to benefit the film industry for non-economic reasons, the incentive should not exceed 10 percent of their spending
- Research finds that film production incentives create an “extortive political economy” (for examples, see the Netflix news above as well as recent news of Hollywood attempting to impose their politics on Georgia, too)
- They benefit outside film production companies even when they don’t film in North Carolina, because they take our bid and use it to leverage a higher bid somewhere else
In short, they leave most people in the state a little worse off just to enrich mostly out-of-state production companies.