Representatives from the TV and film industry gathered in Charlotte over the weekend to host a forum to discuss the “benefits” of North Carolina’s tax credits for TV and movie production companies.
Typical of the pleas of these folks demanding special government privileges denied most everyone else is this:
“If the incentive goes away, it decimates this industry,” said Aaron Syrett, director of the state film office.
Such talk is quite revealing, and it tells us one of two things:
- the film industry is such a financial loser that the only way it can survive is through political privilege
- North Carolina’s taxes are so onerous the only reason businesses choose to come here is if they can get a special break from the normal rates
Of course, the tax reform passed this year will go a long way towards addressing the second point. Regarding the first point, it makes little sense for state taxpayers to prop up an otherwise unsustainable industry. If we do it for the film industry, why not every other failing industry? What makes the film industry so special that it shouldn’t play by the same rules as everybody else?
This is simply another example of a political power grab; with politicians playing favorites and overriding the preferences of citizens and consumers who should be the ones in charge of determining which industries and businesses are successful.