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Local lawmaker fights for incentives

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — State Representative Ted Davis is rallying local leaders together to promote the film industry.

“Right now, all I am trying to do is get the information out and see who out there is interested to go into battle for the film industry,” says Davis.

In 2010, the state’s film tax incentives were increased from 15% to 25%, letting production companies keep more money in their pockets. Incentives also attracted major Hollywood films like “Iron man 3” to the Port City. When these tax incentives expire in 2015, the threat of losing business becomes very real.

“Productions everyday are doing comparative budgets,” says Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin. “Usually when productions call us they say we are looking at Wilmington, but we are also looking at two or three other states or cities or different countries. They factor all of those things into the equation so if you do not have the incentive, then that basically means the cost of doing business here goes up.”

The film caucus would allow 30 counties who know the economic impacts of the film industry to hopefully educate other counties that may not realize it’s importance. The film industry brought nearly 230 million dollars to North Carolina last year. A good enough reason Davis says to fight for incentives.

“The money that is being made and the business that it is bringing in…I do not have any question that I will have people who will support the economic impact from the mediums,” says Davis. “It is just whether or not they are willing to do it.”

Davis wrote and signed a letter that will be given to all of the House and Senate members Wednesday. He hopes to have word within a few weeks.

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