North Carolina Film Incentives Likely To End in 2014

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In spite of having recently been renewed for two more years, the North Carolina film incentives under which Iron Man 3 was produced in the state look likely to fall victim to maneuvering from politicians who have been trying for years to close the program down, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Conservatives in the North Carolina General Assembly have been arguing that while high-profile productions like Iron Man 3 can infuse cash into the local economy, the state would be better served with across-the-board tax cuts rather than those targeting a specific industry. That approach has been influenced by Jon Sanders, the Director of Regulatory Studies at the right-wing think tank the John Locke Foundation. You can read an interview we conducted with Sanders here, in which he called the incentives "good old-fashioned corporate welfare."

"Unfortunately, the way the movie industry now is, it’s a global industry and we don’t compete with just states, we compete with the world," Aaron Syrett, Director of the North Carolina Film Office, told "It would just be a little short-sighted to think that without them we’d be just as successful because in the past few years we’ve proven that we haven’t."

2011 and 2012 saw back-to-back, record-breaking years in terms of film production in the state but as it became more obvious that the Republican-controlled General Assembly might eliminate the incentives programs, frugal studios have looked for other places to shoot. Not long after rumors surfaced that Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy might shoot in North Carolina, both of them went into production elsewhere. Disney, meanwhile, have staked out studio space in the U.K. for years to come.