#NCGA: Lights, camera — Cronyism !!!

moneycountUm, BOHICA,  We’ve got a $445 million revenue shortfall at the state level. The honorables on Jones Street are getting ready to hit us with toll roads on top of the outrageously high gas tax we already pay. We’ve been told that we don’t have the money to hike teacher pay.  Yet, the conservative revolution in Raleigh is getting ready to approve another year of tax breaks and freebies for multi-billion dollar Hollywood studios that WE are going to have to pick up the tab for.

Why, you ask?  Proponents claim the movie industry is a real economic boon for The Tar Heel State.  They even conveniently produced a “study” from some researchers at state-funded NC State University to reinforce their claims. 

Well, researchers at the legislature came up with their own study obliterating the credibility of the NC State studyfinding that the state actually loses 54 cents for every dollar it forks over to the movie crowd. 

legislatureIt can never be said that logic will get in the way of a politician seeking headlines and campaign contributions.  During the US Senate primary campaign, state House speaker Thom Tillis praised the idea of film incentives at a Wilmington fundraiser. Within days, his Senate campaign fund was fattened with cash from movie studio interests. 

A few days ago, state Senator Bill Rabon — whose district is in the Wilmington area — got cited for leaving the scene of a traffic accident in Wilmington.  Media reports indicate he was in town for a pro-film incentives rally and had stopped at a local restaurant for drinks with some of his fellow legislators afterward.  download333

Sharon Decker, Gov. Pat’s commerce secretary, has said publicly that film incentives are coming back.  The only question, she says, is what form they will take. 

If there truly is a great benefit to be derived from reducing taxes and regulations on business, why not do it for ALL North Carolina businesses — instead of just for the ones with the biggest wallets and most generous, well-connected lobbyists?  



10 thoughts on “#NCGA: Lights, camera — Cronyism !!!

  1. And NC Rep Frank Iler (R) stated in his most recent newsletter. “The film incentives have been shown to be a net gain to the state and to the economy. I will be working hard with my colleagues to see that they are extended, hopefully to 2020, to give the production companies certainty as they plan new productions in our state.” He’s going to be working hard then, against the current GOP platform which states, “5. We oppose bailouts and corporate welfare. It is contrary to the free enterprise system to recruit or retain businesses with targeted tax incentives when other businesses bear the full burden of taxation. Higher tax rates on the many to provide preferential treatment for the few is unfair. The best way to promote economic growth is to reduce our overall tax burden.” Once again, I ask, where is the GOP fighting for their own principles?

    1. Sounds like he needs a primary next time. Supporting crony capitalism is against the principles of free enterprise.

    2. I’d say the crony capitalists in the GOP (and running for Senate) are absolutely fighting for their own principles… they just arent very good ones 🙂

    3. The question is, “Will the platform still say that after the platform committee and the NC GOP get through with it?” According to my sources, it has been gutted by the platform committee and will be voted on in Cherokee. I hope the delegates are awake enough to reject this new spineless platform!

  2. There should be zero corporate or personal income tax. A true free market economy can not exist otherwise. It is the only way supply and demand can drive the economy. The FairTax appears to be the answer to me. It repeals the 16th amendment and abolishes the IRS. It will empower “WE THE PEOPLE”.

  3. Tillis will blend right into the cronies in DC assuming enough conservatives vote for him this Nov. Why are we favoring the Hollywood cesspool over our teachers?

  4. Whew…. the FRD rebuttal to the original study was a really nice step-by-step stomping on the original study – kinda blew it right outta the water. 🙂

    Interesting read, and cool to see how flimsy the original study was. But in reading both of them, and seeing how many millions of dollars the state was basically sucking out of the private sector…. well, I was struck repeatedly with the sad thought of how much actual, productive economic growth and activity all that money could generate staying with the people who actually earned it.

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