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Local lawmakers give their take on future of film incentives program

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Local politicians have mixed opinions on the future of the state's film incentive program. Local politicians have mixed opinions on the future of the state's film incentive program.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Local politicians have mixed opinions on the future of the state's film incentive program.

According to the current incentive program, any production spending more than $250 thousand is eligible for a tax credit of 25 percent of its expenditures.  The incentive is set to expire at the end of 2014.

Senator Thom Goolsby is afraid the local film industry in Wilmington might take a cut if the incentives are not continued.

"I go to all the films equals jobs, rallies," said Goolsby.  "I'm going to do everything I can, as I did last time to see to it that we continue the film incentives and continue all the jobs it creates."

Not all politicians agree with Goolsby.

State Representative Rick Catlin ,a fellow republican, does not think North Carolina can afford to extend the incentives.  He does not want to raise taxes to make it happen.

"It's going to require that we have either unexpected revenue increases or I think it would, in effect, stop our tax reform and people would have to decide to raise taxes on our hard-working citizens," said Catlin.

Ted Davis, a New Hanover County Representative, is forming a caucus in Raleigh in an effort to let other politicians know how important the current incentives are to the film industry and the state economy.

"Hopefully we can change the minds of those who might not be in favor of film incentives this time and hopefully get them to change their minds and be in favor of the extension," said Davis.

Even though the film incentives program does not end until 2015, the Motion Picture Association of America is warning the state that major production companies are already looking at other states that do have film incentives as sites for their next big projects.

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