The Motion Picture Association of America says the quality of the state’s studios and film crews rival those found in Hollywood and New York City. The state trails only California, New York, Georgia and Louisiana in production revenue, according to the N.C. Film Office.
But the budget for the next two fiscal years approved in July by the state legislature lets the incentive program sunset on Jan. 1, 2015. Republican lawmakers, who took full control of state government this year for the first time since Reconstruction, as well as some Democrats, say North Carolina would be better off cutting taxes across the board or giving incentives to manufacturers offering long-term jobs…
“We spent $70 million on film incentives last year, and what else could we have done with that $70 million?” said Rep. Mike Hager, the GOP majority whip, who hails from Rutherford County, where “Dirty Dancing” was shot. “We could have paid more teachers, kept our teacher assistants, given raises to our highway patrol.” …
Most states pay a subsidy worth about 25 cents for every dollar of production expense, return on investment is hard to quantify, and the highest-paying jobs go to people out of state, says the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington.
The Motion Picture Association of America says film incentives have a multiplier effect, citing a recently commissioned study that shows North Carolina’s $20 million in incentives last year for “Iron Man 3″ led to $180 million in local spending, or nearly $9 for each $1 invested.
Hot Air’s Erika Johnson adds:
Questionable, and the overarching point is that the big names of Hollywood are so often all too happy to consider themselves a cut above the oh-so-disdainful operations of other perfectly rational, profit-seeking businesses in other industries while reaping the benefits of special government treatment at average taxpayers’ expense.
Last year, at least one Hollywood spokeswoman was rather keen to have her taxes raised:
“Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longoria, who is also Obama campaign co-chair, said Thursday that “the Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers – she needed a tax break, but the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.”
The rest of Hollywood should be happy to see North Carolina holding a Obama surrogate to her word; but there are other Hollywood tax cuts that should also be repealed.