The N&O today features an excellent piece about North Carolina’s corporate welfare scheme that doles out millions in tax breaks and handouts to Hollywood film companies.
The maximum credit is $20 million, but there is no cap on the total amount of all credits to all film companies. Your generosity knows no limits; just ask the governor or the legislature. That’s why the state gave incentives to films such as “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” and television shows such as “Jon and Kate Plus Eight.”
Just to be sure that companies get every penny of the incentive, a recent statute eliminates the 6.9 percent corporate income tax on the incentive taken by a film company. Not only are we giving film companies cash, we aren’t even making them pay a tax on that gift. You can be sure that if someone gave you $20 million, the tax man would cometh and cometh and cometh.
Proponents of incentives will tell you the war is between our state and the other guy’s, or between our county and the other guy’s. Not true – the war is between corporate welfare and economic liberty, between funding essential government services and subsidizing corporate largess. The war is between special interests and fundamental fairness.
So to all you teachers and other state employees concerned about your job or benefits being cut during the current budget crunch, sleep better tonight knowing that millions in scarce tax dollars are being diverted to millionaire movie stars and multi-billion dollar Hollywood production studio giants.