WRAL: Tillis: Legislators erred in ending film incentives in 2014

WRAL: Tillis: Legislators erred in ending film incentives in 2014

North Carolina’s film industry once supported over 4,000 permanent jobs in our state, but the industry dried up and moved to other states as soon as politicians eliminated the film incentives program in 2013. Now, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis — who led the charge to destroy the incentives program as Speaker of the House — is finally admitting that the General Assembly messed up.

  • From 2007-2012, the film industry spent over a billion dollars in North Carolina. In 2012 alone, 42 film projects participated in the incentive program — supporting 3,911 North Carolina-based crew hires, 1,466 acting jobs, and nearly 13,589 acting “extras.”
  • In 2017, only two film projects participated in the new grant program which was intended to replace the incentives. Just as supporters of the film incentives predicted, killing the incentives program also killed North Carolina’s film industry.
  • A 2012 study found that for every dollar the state paid in tax incentives, the film industry spent $9 in our state. At the height of the Great Recession, Tillis and the Republican supermajority killed one of the best economic incentives North Carolina has ever had.

When an average person messes up their job as much as Thom Tillis did as Speaker of the House, they’re usually sent packing. Tillis, on the other hand, got a promotion to U.S. Senator. North Carolina voters should remember that the next time Tillis comes up for reelection in 2020.


 U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis says North Carolina lawmakers made a mistake when they ended film incentives several years ago and replaced them with grants.

Tillis tells WECT -TV that legislators “seriously diminished” the industry’s effect on the coastal economy. He made his comments after a policy round table in Wilmington this week.

As state House speaker, Tillis, a Republican, favored extending the incentives, but the General Assembly ended them.

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, just two film projects have applied and been approved under the state’s grant program. One is a feature film, the other is five commercials for Home Depot.

The state’s new program caps the amount of money a project can receive in grants. Television series can earn $9 million per season while feature films can earn $5 million.

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Eleanore Wood

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