Representative Government

It strikes me that those who loudly complain that government should not be picking winners and losers, are actually involved in the conduct they revile.

In allowing film industry incentives to expire, leadership at NCGA is choosing to let a North Carolina industry die. That's approximately 4,000 jobs.

Just as in refusing to expand Medicaid, they are refusing to let an industry (medical care) expand in North Carolina. That could create 20,000 to 25,000 jobs.

In the face of industry requests for solar or other sustainable energies, NCGA threatens to cut or abolish requirements for sustainables. As I recall, there are over 25,000 employed in solar in NC.

People all around the state are beginning to wonder, just who is it that NCGA Republicans represent?

Fayetteville Observer wrote on film incentives:

Which industries will follow filmmakers out of state?
NC SPIN | July 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
12081853371627177650shuttermonkey_Movie_Clapperboard.svg.medEditorial by Fayetteville Observer, July 14, 2015.

The film industry is all but dead in North Carolina because a General Assembly incentives jihad has sent movie producers scurrying to other states offering better deals.

We hope the movies aren’t the canary in our coal mine, singing of other corporate losses to come. Distaste for the incentives game is a reasonable reaction to the giveaways required to lure corporate business. But unless we’ve got a better idea, playing the game is the only pragmatic strategy around.

Dumping the game will send millions – eventually billions – of dollars in jobs, local spending and tax revenue to other states. But because our economic-development tools are largely determined by the ideologues running the N.C. Senate, that’s just what we face.

North Carolina’s film-incentive program was allowed to die at the end of last year. So far, legislative leaders have no inclination to revive it. Instead, they appropriated $10 million a year for film-production grants – a slim fraction of spending under the old incentive program.

As a story in Sunday’s Greensboro News & Record reported, that program refunded 25 percent of the qualified money that production companies spent in North Carolina. Between 2007 and 2012, Hollywood spent $1.3 billion here. The state paid $112 million to the filmmakers. And yet, the state still earned nearly $60 million in tax revenue during that time.

At this time last year, in the final year of the tax-credit program, there were 40 productions spending a total of $268 million and providing jobs to 19,000 people. This year, 13 productions are spending $70 million. The grant program funding will go to one TV series and one movie.

Most of the others are heading out of town, many to South Carolina and Georgia, which offer 30 percent rebates to filmmakers. Like North Carolina, those states are under firm Republican control, but political leaders there put a higher value on cash flow than on rigid ideology.

In a press release last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the film industry spent $1.7 billion in his state in the last fiscal year, which ended June 30. Forty-two productions are filming in Georgia this summer. More than 100 new film-related businesses have set up shop there. Guess where a lot of them came from.

This is the same reason Volvo and Boeing spurned North Carolina and chose South Carolina. We’re not just uncompetitive, we’re even changing the rules to send existing businesses packing.

But Phil Berger and his fellow Senate leaders are plugging their ears so they won’t hear the canary sing.



Picking losers.

Cutting funding for 8,000 TAs will cause the loss of 8,000 JOBS.

They do not seem to remember that in 59 of our 100 counties, the public school system is the county's largest employer. Perhaps they could call their local school supers and ask how many TAs in their district are going to find themselves unemployed and how much money will that take out of the local economy???