General Assembly extends film tax incentive
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WILMINGTON -- Productions banking on North Carolina's film tax incentive have another year to take advantage of it. Tuesday, the General Assembly voted to extend the tax credit's expiration date by one year.
Right now, only one mobile kitchen sits on Cinema Catering's lot at the movie studios in Wilmington.
The owners said that's because their other three units are parked at job sites.
"We have a TV show shooting in Charlotte, one just came back from Winston-Salem, we have another film shooting over the bridge and we just finished Army Wives in Charleston," listed Phyllis Wood Gallichet, with Cinema Catering.
Gallichet said business really started heating up once the tax credit was increased to 25 percent in 2010.
"Without them, these jobs would be in some other competing state," said Gallichet.
Industry officials said in 2010, productions spent around $80 million in North Carolina. That almost tripled in 2011, to $220 million. This year, projections are already in excess of $312 million.
Now that the tax credit is extended by one year, industry officials said that they can reel in more business.
"The productions that we are dealing with need to be able to have certainty moving forward especially in the television industry, folks need to run budgets scenarios two to three years into the future," said Johnny Griffin, the Director of Wilmington Regional Film Commission.
Originally, the credit expired January 1, 2014. Gallichet said the additional year will help more than just those who work in the industry.
"We buy our refrigeration from Raleigh, our vehicles from Capital Ford of Raleigh, and then when they come back they go to service industries here," explained Gallichet.
State Representative Susi Hamilton has been accused of voting to override Gov. Bev Perdue's veto of the Fracking Bill as part of a deal with Republican's to approve the extension. Her vote helped give Republicans the numbers needed to defeat the Governor's veto, but Hamilton says there was no deal.
"My choice to override the Governor on the Fracking Bill is much like Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton's and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory's, this is probably the best compromise we are going to get right now," said Hamilton.
Representatives from environmental groups have openly criticized Hamilton's move.
The tax credit now expires January 1, 2015.