Less than a week after the state Senate proposed a $20 million grant program for North Carolina film incentives, Americans for Prosperity launched a radio ad protesting the proposal.
The grant program would replace the 25 percent tax credit incentive, which expires by the end of this year.
AFP strictly opposes the state providing any sort of film incentive. The ad itself calls for lawmakers to “stop the Hollywood handouts,” saying film incentives cost North Carolina $45 million.
Donald Bryson, North Carolina deputy state director for Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement issued after the launch of the ad that if the legislature wants to spend money, it should redirect spending toward other functions, like education or transportation.
“Under the current program and the proposed program, the state of North Carolina cuts a check to the film production company – so it is literal spending,” Bryson said. “I don’t think anyone believes that “Iron Man 3” or “The Hunger Games” were a core function of state government.”
In order to receive grants under the program, film production must cost at least $10 million dollars, and television shows must spend at east $1 million per episode. Plus, priority would be given to films that employ the most North Carolina residents, invest in long term improvements to the state or promote tourism.
“The incentives would still be based on a production company’s tax burden,” Bryson said. “Instead of cutting checks for a special industry, North Carolina should lower taxes for all businesses.”
The ads, which Bryson said costs AFP several thousand dollars, will run Monday-Friday of this week, on radio stations in Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington.