Film incentives fail committee vote

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An amendment that would have extended a reduced film incentive program in North Carolina to 2017 was voted down in the North Carolina General Assembly House of Representatives Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday, June 11.

Shortly after the amendment failed in a 20-16 vote, Representative Susi Hamilton, R-Brunswick/New Hanover, said she was unhappy with the lack of support for the amendment from the NCGA leadership.

“Representative Ted Davis [R-New Hanover] was given the green light to run an amendment in during finance committee this morning to include a reduced film incentive package into the budget and Speaker Tillis’ staff worked the room against him and the amendment failed,” Hamilton said during a June 11 phone interview. “Anything can happen at this point but this morning Ted Davis was double-crossed by the speaker’s office.”

Hamilton worked on the amendment introduced by Davis would have kept the film incentive package alive but in a reduced capacity suggesting 22.5 percent of its expenses with a per-project payout cap set at $15 million. North Carolina’s current film incentives allow for 25 percent rebate on expenses and a $20 million cap and will sunset at the end of the calendar year.

“I’m not just being partisan here but the leadership in the General Assembly is making certain that the film incentives do not get extended in North Carolina,” Hamilton said. “They are ready to do offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and they are unwilling to support 4,200 existing clean North Carolina jobs.”

Still on the table is a proposal by the Senate to turn the film incentives into a grant program.

If that does not materialize in the form of a bill the state’s film incentive program would expire beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

After that, Hamilton said it would most likely take a change in the NCGA leadership to reinstate the film incentive program.

email cole@luminanews.com

 

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