Film tax incentive was ‘abused’ in North Carolina by The Daily Show

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory publicly stated that he believed the film tax incentive in the state had faced “some abuse” and subsequently refused to visit a local film studio after receiving a formal invitation, facing a backlash from the local industry that employs over 4000 people.

A report in Star Now went further to find out what abuses he had been referring to, with a spokesman from his office telling the paper that ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart had benefitted from tax incentives without really needing them. The Comedy Central show allegedly received $400,000 to come to the Democratic National Convention during the 2012 election campaign.

However, an audit revealed that the production had only received just over $190,000 in support.

The Governor was rebuked by the director of the WIlmington Regional Film Commission who found the comments out of proportion:

“To me, the word ‘abuses’ is rather strong because when I hear ‘abuses’ I think it’s somebody that has done something that is illegal, that has manipulated the system in some way, something like that..The “Daily Show,’ based on guidelines and rules as they are written, fully qualified to be able to come here.”

In an interview with WECT, the Governor had highlighted how other states were using the incentives more effectively, and admitted that the current incentive program would be changed because it was being abused.

Currently the minimum expenditure in the state for a production to receive relief is $250,000 but the Governor wants to increase it to $1 million, shutting out smaller TV and film productions.

The NC tax incentives program will expire at the end of the year.

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