So, I brought this up yesterday on Facebook and now it’s in the paper. If everyone’s so against incentives, why are they developing new plans to put a brand spanking new incentives bill on the table so they can hand out millions of dollars. Yes, an incentives bill.
Now technically, HB 1224 (Page 9, Part III) has nothing to do with film. But I say that it most certainly does. Suddenly, the Senate feels the need for incentives? The one thing they have been fighting about? We have 4200+ HIGH paying jobs on the line that already exist, but they are touting , “Hey, let’s bring in companies to bring in manufacturing jobs.” Which by the way don’t even come close to the annual income our film workers get paid AND will not aid the 1000+ small businesses that are affected by them! That’s business that already exists.
Every production that comes here, comes with a sign that says, “Employees wanted!” and if we would stop giving off the rank stench of uncertainty, we would never have a lapse in employment with these 4200+ jobs. In fact, we would be looking at more hires. Do you think for a second our high rated shows like Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow are going to just sit and wait for folks to make up their mind on our little Capitol Hill? No announcements have been made, but mark my words, the next season we will be waving from across state lines to our friends and family and favorite actors and producers because they won’t be here.
We have a small window here to put this to rest. The damage has already sorely been done, but if we have any glimmer of hope, it is that we can make one last ditch effort to raise our voices and let them be heard. Speaker Tillis has been sitting idle too long on this issue and he is one of the folks who have the power to get things done.
If they are going to create new incentive program. If the are changing positions on providing incentives to recruit business, then we we want the current film incentives to be a part of this bill. HB 1224 would be the perfect vehicle to place our current film incentives in for a one year extension. They can call it a grant, call it a fund, but it is what it is, an incentive. And we need to tell them so.
I have been asked for us to do a final call to action. Listen, I know you are feeling quite deflated after McCrory’s visit, however, let me remind you it doesn’t come down to the governor’s decision. It will come from the House and the Senate. Sure, he can veto anything, however, the General Assembly can always override it. The trading game is now in full force with HB 1224 and lemme tell you some of these folks REALLY want this bill. And some will not vote for it unless the film incentives are extended.
Simply put, if they support the incentives bill, HB 1224, for new jobs, then should they support the continuation of our film incentives for 4200+ existing jobs in North Carolina. Yes, it might be a Hail Mary pass, but someone’s got to win the Superbowl! And again, I always believe in the underdog.
So let’s PLAY BALL!
Please call these folks IMMEDIATELY! Call as many as you can today! Leave a message if no one answers!
Sen. Phil Berger (President Pro Tempore)
Rep. Julia Howard
Rep. Rick Catlin
Rep. Chris Millis
Rep. Robert Brawley
Sen. Bill Rabon
Sen. Bob Rucho
Sen. David Curtis
And in case you need some musical motivation, I got your back!