Art Darwin: Movies’ net gain

March 28, 2014 

Regarding the March 22 Point of View “ Film incentives no win for N.C.”: On the way to a second term as president, Harry Truman was fond of deriding the “80 worst Congress playing jiggery-pokery” with budget dollars. So many years later, we find that government accounting is still an art of obfuscation.

A case in point is the report that the state of North Carolina “lost” millions of dollars on film industry operations. What makes that curious is that it isn’t lost at all, but a bookkeeping entry to show tax rebates on spending incurred by film productions in our lovely state. In short: No movies, no tax revenue. No revenue, no rebates to “lose.”

Yet some residents cry loudly about carpetbaggers or other scurrilous characters hauling cash out of government vaults by the truck load. Perhaps if those folks looked at more than one figure they might come to a different conclusion.

In 2012 film producers in N.C. spent $308,441,935 on goods, services and wages. The tax credits ran to $76,851,705. Unless figures lie, that nets the state $231,590,230!

Why a vendetta against movie makers? We could conclude that only minimum-wage industries are welcomed on our shores. Does a large and hungry labor pool better suit our current government and corporate agenda? Let’s hope not!

Art Darwin


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