Op-Ed

August 29, 2014

A $40 million loss as film crew leaves

North Carolina has started to see a mass exodus of film industry after killing economic incentives.

The following editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:

The first reviews are in and they’re bad: The audience walked out. The sequels may be worse. Somebody needs to rewrite the script. Fast.

When state lawmakers decided they didn’t like economic-development incentives, and they especially hated giving them to the film industry, there were dire predictions about what would happen if they killed them.

They killed them anyway. Just a few weeks from the General Assembly’s adjournment, the first of the dire predictions came to pass. More are coming.

WCNC in Charlotte reports that production of the cable TV show “Banshee” is pulling out of Charlotte and heading to New Orleans. The change is a direct result of lawmakers’ decision to let North Carolina’s film-industry tax credits die.

The action-drama series first appeared on the Cinemax network. City officials say at least four other shows were considering shooting in Charlotte but dropped the city after the legislature refused to reauthorize the incentive program.

The bottom line for Charlotte: an estimated $40 million loss. That’s a lot of popcorn. How much more business will we lose before ideologue lawmakers see that the game may stink, but we’ve got to play it if we want to prosper?

MCT Information Services

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