Written by on Apr 19, 2013. Posted in Incentive News

North Carolina industry protests non-refundable filming incentive plan

North Carolina is considering plans to make its location filming incentive non-refundable. The news has angered production professionals in the state who are concerned that the change would threaten North Carolina’s appeal to productions like Iron Man 3.

Under the proposed plan, rather than getting a refund, productions like Iron Man 3 would be able to carry forward surplus credit for use against any tax liability incurred in the state over five years. It’s a move that’s designed to keep productions in North Carolina, but critics argue it fails to acknowledge the nature of an industry that moves in, films and moves out again, news outlet WECT reports.

"This will basically offer an empty incentive," Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin told the outlet: "Yes, we'd have a film incentive, but no one will be able to use it.

“Maybe you can find a couple local companies that could benefit from this, but it's more important to focus on the majority of production companies that do not have tax liability. They come down, spend and leave. Even though they are giving this incentive, they still are taxed through sales tax on things they purchase, and payroll tax for paying local workers.”

This will basically offer an empty incentive. Yes, we'd have a film incentive, but no one will be able to use it.

Johnny Griffin, Wilmington Regional Film Commission

News about the non-refundable tax plan comes shortly after a controversial memo from North Carolina's Legislative Services Office questioning the effectiveness of the filming incentive. The memo's accuracy was disputed by the North Carolina Film Office.

North Carolina has had a strong few years hosting major features such as the first Hunger Games and Iron Man 3, as well as high-profile TV dramas including Homeland, Revolution and Under the Dome.

(Iron Man 3 stills: Marvel)


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