WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Rep. Rick Catlin (R-New Hanover) is weighing in on a bill filed Thursday in the state House that he co-sponsored. The bill is raising concerns about the future of North Carolina's film credit, which many credit with helping to lure productions such as Iron Man 3, Safe Haven and Revolution to the Wilmington area.
HB 994, co-sponsored by Catlin and Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender), Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham), seeks to make the film production credit non-refundable.
Friday, Catlin released the following statement:
"The best incentive for business is a tax structure that benefits all businesses. The current process of picking some winners at the expense of other taxpayers is what I oppose.
However, this bill does not reduce the present film incentives. It removes the refund of unneeded tax credits and carries them forward for five years…. You would have to ask the film industry why they don't like this. Their answers may shine light on the unusual present use of tax payer dollars. The cash refunds we presently give the industry could go to education, infrastructure and lower taxes for all. The deferral of unneeded credits over five years would allow the film industry tax credits as they are truly earned and needed.
Based on the bill's committee assignments I would be surprised if it makes it to the floor. I was one of three other co-sponsors because I wanted to shine light on the details of how the present incentive program is being used. I knew this would cause controversy, but it is my job to look after our hard working taxpayers and ask tough questions.
It is sad that the film industry is threatening their local employees' jobs as a weapon to preserve the costly and unfair arrangement they now have. I hope the film industry continues to call Wilmington home."
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