Supporters seek higher NC tax incentive for films - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Supporters seek higher NC tax incentive for films

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) - Film industry workers and their supporters want a bigger North Carolina tax break for producers who are following the money and shooting in other states.

Advocates for North Carolina's entertainment industry heard from their legislative supporters Thursday during a rally outside the state's General Assembly.

North Carolina offers a 15 percent tax break on incentives, and legislators are considering a bill to increase that to 25 percent despite the state's looming $4 billion budget gap.

Advocates point to a Miley Cyrus movie that Walt Disney planned to film in Wilmington but moved to Georgia, which offers incentives of up to 30 percent.

Opponents say incentives only benefit Hollywood and that states never recoup the money they spend.

This is a copy of a news release sent out by Governor Beverly Perdue's office Thursday:

Gov. Perdue Proclaims June Motion Picture Industry Month

RALEIGH - Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed June 2009 as Motion Picture Industry Month, recognizing and celebrating the state's successful film industry.

"When people make films in North Carolina, it means jobs for our people and economic benefits for our economy," Perdue said. "We are proud of our great history in the industry and look forward to having a leading role in film development for North Carolina."

The motion picture industry brought $91 million in direct spending to North Carolina in 2008. The industry also employs thousands of people throughout the state.

Recent major motion pictures that have filmed in the state include, "Nights in Rodanthe," "Leatherheads" and "The Secret Life of Bees." The CW Network's popular "One Tree Hill" TV series and hundreds of commercial and industrial productions are filmed each year in North Carolina.

To celebrate Motion Picture Industry Month, North Carolina's motion picture industry community gathered in Raleigh today, at Halifax Mall, to show support for the state's impressive film legacy and for the motion picture industry's key role in supporting the state's economy.

More than 800 motion pictures have been filmed in North Carolina, and the state has long been known for supporting its motion picture industry with strong infrastructure, including education and training, and diverse locations that can stand in for sites throughout the world.

Wilmington's EUE Screen Gems, home of the largest studio lot east of California, recently opened the biggest film and television production soundstage on the East Coast.

The N.C. Film Office, part of the Commerce Department's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, is participating in the June 11 celebration. The Film Office is a long-standing and active member of the Association of Film Commissioners International, an industry organization with 250 film commission members from 30 countries. Aligning with six regional film commissions, the statewide office assists filmmakers with all aspects of production. For more information, visit www.ncfilm.com.

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