NC FILM Update: New House Bill Includes Film Incentives.

The Omnibus Economic Development Improvements Bill aka HB 89 was filed today and was sponsored by House Reps Susi Hamilton (New Hanover, Brunswick) and Rodney Moore (Mecklenburg). This house bill is an act to restore various tax credits such as the jobs catalyst fund, the Mill Property Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and yes the North Carolina Film Incentives.  You heard me right.  Not the grant.  The film Incentives.  That’s what the language certainly looks like.

At first glance, starting on page 20, HB 89 is reverting to the 25% film incentive we had in previous years, with some very minor changes.  Minimum would revert back to $250,000 and the cap again on the 25% back would be $20 million.  Slight changes such as certified CPAs to audit instead on IRS, and other minor details have been added.  The sunset proposed is January 1, 2020.

Take a look and see what other differences you can find.  I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high, but I am glad that Susi and Rodney have gotten the ball rolling.  We gotta start somewhere in this fight to keep NC Film.

We know recently, Small Business for Film has collected more than 450 memberships statewide in less than 30 days and Governor Pat McCrory has recently stated the urgency for JDIG to be reinstated.

Of course, it was proven that when the film incentive is gone, production companies with medium to large budgets will not come to North Carolina to employ film workers and inject money in the local economy.  We have seen two existing shows with big budgets (Banshee and Sleepy Hollow) cease to return.  And of course, still a sore subject, Danny McBride and Jody Hill’s latest HBO show, Vice Principals setting up shop in South Carolina.

Now, it’s between the House and the Senate to decide on the “state of the slate.”

READ HB 89 NOW: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H89v0.pdf

PRESS RELEASE: INACTION – NO SESSION WILL COST NORTH CAROLINA 12,000 JOBS

Official Press Statement:

Representatives Susi Hamilton, Ed Hanes, Rodney Moore, Ken Waddell and Michael Wray

INACTION – NO SESSION WILL COST NORTH CAROLINA 12,000 JOBS

Despite the length of this ‘short’ session, the General Assembly has thus far failed to adequately address one of the most important issues facing North Carolina – job protection and creation. Good jobs are the foundation of our families and our communities.  The North Carolina General Assembly has failed to enact any serious programs that will assist capital expansion, create an environment conducive to hiring, and actually secure the jobs of new and existing workers.

The good news is that this year’s legislative session has not yet adjourned. There is still time to support a bi-partisan economic development plan that will move this state forward.  We are convinced that a bi-partisan approach is the only chance of preventing the crippling of economic development opportunities for North Carolina in the next nine months.  Without the basic tools of economic development, the North Carolina Department of Commerce cannot be competitive in job recruitment.  Every one of our county economic development offices, the new Public Private Partnership (PPP), and the new prosperity zones will all be unable to effectively “sell” our state if a comprehensive plan does not pass.

Many of the elements of S 763 are supported broadly by members of our caucus. However, it is clear that in some areas the plans offered by the Governor are not aggressive enough.

We offer the following items that would make it worthy of vigorous bi-partisan support:

  • Historic Rehabilitation Investment Program – This inexpensive program is one of the few tools to encourage rehabilitation of commercial buildings in small towns and cities across the state. While the credit has been used extensively in Durham, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Raleigh and other larger cities, it has been particularly helpful in our smaller communities to create the type of re-investment we need to keep these communities vibrant.

 

  • New Market Tax Credits – This program is creating major investment by private capital in 14 others states. It fills a giant gap that exists where Banks are now reluctant to lend in rural and distressed areas.  Where this law has passed, the state has seen an immediate influx of capital and lending, often near the half billion mark in the first year.  This program does not cost the taxpayer money; it generates jobs and taxes for the state.  It must be part of any bi-partisan comprehensive economic development plan.

 

  • Film Tax Credit – This program has long been supported by both Republicans and Democrats alike. It makes money for state and local government by supporting 4,200 highly paid permanent jobs and 15,000 part time jobs, which in turn pays gasoline, payroll, property, sales and all other taxes and fees that support the government.  These workers have no job option in their field and will be forced leave the state if North Carolina turns its back on this knowledge-based industry.

Without S 763 and parts of H 1224:

  • Two proposed manufacturing plants and their 1,400 jobs that the Commerce Department is seeking will not come
  • The EPA will close the plant in Canton laying off 1,200 workers in Senator Apodoca’s and Senator Davis’ district
  • The state will eliminate 4,200 jobs in the film industry
  • The ELIMINATION OF OUR MAJOR RECRUITMENT TOOL, JDIG, EFFECTIVELY TAKING NORTH CAROLINA OUT OF THE JOB RECRUITMENT BUSINESS FOR ONE YEAR. If past performance is a guide, this will cost 6,000 jobs just in the recruits the Secretary is engaged with now

There are other tax provisions of H 1224 that could possibly be added to this compromise, some of which we are aware are much needed by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Revenue.  These include, but are not limited to, Crowd Funding, JMAC, JDIG, solar energy tax credits and the Secretary’s new Catalyst Fund.

We are calling on Governor McCrory and Senator Berger to sit down with House leadership and our caucus so we can finalize a package that can pass both houses with a strong bi-partisan vote.