Per Ethel Merman, “there’s no business like show business,” but in North Carolina it’s more like “there’s big business in show business.” An NC State study has found that the film industry has benefited the state’s economy to the tune of 4,200 jobs.
It follows that State House Speaker Thom Tillis, himself a “lifelong businessman,” said in September of last year that the “film industry is critical” to Wilmington and Charlotte and that he would support extension of the tax credit program in this year’s short legislative session.
Fast forward to yesterday, when the film tax extension failed to even make it out of committee during the Tillis-run legislative session and is nowhere to be found in the Speaker’s budget.
What prompted Tillis’ change of heart, and this plot twist? Enter the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, which launched an advertising campaign railing against the film tax credit extension. Turns out Speaker Tillis would rather see this movie have a happy ending for the billionaire Koch brothers than for the thousands of North Carolinians employed by the film industry.