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Archive for March, 2009

Stronger ‘Save Our Sand’ group renews beach rule fight

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Raleigh | Better financed and with a broader coalition this time around, proponents of softening the state’s long-standing ban on hardened beach structures are ready to take their fight back to the General Assembly.

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Film industry looking for bigger tax incentives from North Carolina

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

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This is not a great time to be looking for a bigger tax break from the cash-strapped state of North Carolina, but that’s exactly what our film industry is doing. They say they have to in order to stay competitive.

North Carolina currently offers production companies a 15% tax break. That used to be sufficient, however Screen Gems’ Bill Vassar and the Greater Wilmington Film Commission’s Johnny Griffin, two leading players on Wilmington’s production stage report they’re losing business to other states that have upped the ante considerably.

Michigan offers 40%, and in our part of the country, Georgia and South Carolina are up to 30%.

North Carolina is back in the pack with the current 15%.

“Most of them are 20, 25, 30%, so to be competitive you have to be up in that range now,” Griffin said.

One big advantage we have here in Wilmington is our infrastructure and crew base, offsetting the need to go to extremes as some states have.

That said, making movies, TV shows, and commercials is a big money, bottom line intensive business.

The sound stage represents a big gamble on the part of Screen Gems, and it represents a lot of confidence in Wilmington’s film future.

If the state legislature would raise that incentive to 25%, both Vassar and Griffin feel Wilmington would once again be in the driver’s seat.

State Senator Julia Boseman has introduced legislation in Raleigh pushing for the 25% film incentive. It is now in the Senate Finance Committee, and has the bi-partisan support of our local house and senate delegation.

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videoThis is not a great time to be looking for a bigger tax break from the cash-strapped state of North Carolina, but that’s exactly what our film industry is doing. They say they have to in order to stay competitive.

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Associated poll

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Two men found on backhoe in development, charged with larceny

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Two men have been arrested and charged with felony larceny after New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies found them operating a backhoe at a subdivision under construction, according to a news release from Deputy C.G. Smith of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

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County cuts workers, but won’t say who got pink slips

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Bosses at New Hanover County on Tuesday faced the difficult task of telling some workers they no longer have jobs. But who received that bad news, and what jobs they did, remains a mystery.

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Deadline nears for N. Brunswick water users to have backflow prevention

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

By April 1, North Brunswick Sanitary District customers must have installed a backflow prevention device for household irrigation systems.If not, they could face a fine of up to $1,000, the district warned.

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