Friday, May 11, 2012

How Do Film "Incentives" Affect NC?

An interesting article about whether or not NC's film incentives actually work. American Spectator:
The state offers one of the nation’s most enticing tax-incentive programs to production companies. Last year, Tar Heel taxpayers forked over $5,071,322 in tax credits to Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. In its three-season run, the HBO series Eastbound and Down has siphoned $3,740,884 from North Carolina. The CW Network’s One Tree Hill has drained a whopping $27 million from the state’s coffers over the last five years.
Even Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment body-slammed the state for $135,401. That was its reward for shooting Raw and Smackdown at arenas in Charlotte and Raleigh in 2010.
Hollywood welfare, like actual welfare, overflows with abuse. Last month, a Massachusetts court found filmmaker Daniel Adams guilty of defrauding the Bay State out of more than $4 million in tax credits by inflating his costs on The Lightkeepers and The Golden Boys. The offenses included a claim by Adams that he had paid Richard Dreyfuss six times his actual salary of $400,000. If you haven’t seen, let alone heard of, The Golden Boys or The Lightkeepers, you’re not alone. They appear to have been made as much for tax subsidies as for box-office receipts.
“In fiscal year 2010, the forty-three states that offer film subsidies spent $1.5 billion of your tax dollars subsidizing film and TV production,” Jason Mattera writes in Hollywood Hypocrites. “Let’s put that in real terms. Hollywood’s 2009 welfare payments would have been enough to pay the salaries of 23,500 middle school teachers, 26,600 firefighters, and 22,800 police patrol officers.”

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