Film incentive cuts costing us jobs

By: Susi Hamilton - Contributing Columnist

Isn’t it ironic that Republican governors in South Carolina and Georgia are boasting about the explosion their states have experienced in television and film production?

These conservative Republican governors are bragging about the jobs and revenue generated by the film and television industry. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last week announced that 248 movies and film productions were shot on location in the Peach State state last year, spending more than $1.7 billion and generating a $6 billion economic impact.

Those movie and television jobs were once in North Carolina and the associated revenue were once in North Carolina.

But the wisdom of the Republican Legislature cut the incentives and tax credits for the film production industry so the jobs and revenue have migrated south, where they do provide film production tax credits.

According to the Greensboro News & Record, from January through June of 2014 there were 40 film production projects in our state totaling more than $268 million in economic impact. During the same period in 2015, there were only 13 productions generating $70 million in economic impact.

So the philosophical free-market Republicans in our state Legislature are seeing the results of their plans to cut incentives and tax credits for the film and television industry in our state. It is costing us jobs, revenue and taxes that help fuel our state’s economy.

The policy is shortsighted and is hurting our state and the free-market in television production is doing just fine in South Carolina and Georgia. Their success has come at North Carolina’s expense and that’s just wrong.

State Rep. Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover, is a member of the N.C. Main Street Democrats Legislative Caucus. Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, serves as caucus chairman.

Susi Hamilton

Contributing Columnist