MPAA says Iron Man 3 filming netted jobs in NC

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 03:56 PM

The Motion Picture Association of America released a study Tuesday attributing $180 million and 2,000 jobs in North Carolina to filming from Iron Man 3.

The move comes while a bill limiting tax credits for production companies awaits action in the North Carolina House. North Carolina gives film productions direct payments if their tax credits exceed what they owe the state. The House bill would limit credits to tax liability and prevent additional payments.

The study conducted by Canadian firm MNP concluded that Iron Man 3 created the equivalent of 102 full-time jobs for every $1 million of the film's $20 million tax credit. About 27 percent of labor spending went toward in-state hires.

The MPAA also noted 719 state vendors across 84 communities were involved with filming.

MPAA spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said the timing of the release had nothing to do with the House bill.

"Iron Man 3 opens this weekend, so it seemed like an appropriate time to make it clear the economic impact it had on the state," she said.

A recent study from General Assembly staff using a different economic model found only a fraction of the film industry's job claims in 2011 could be directly tied to tax incentives.

Like other states across the country, North Carolina has increased tax incentives for the film industry to attract big-budget productions. Since 2010, the industry has reported record years of investment in the state.

Currently, production crews that spend more than $250,000 are eligible for credits valued at 25 percent of in-state expenses, up to $20 million. Those companies receive direct refunds if the value of their credit exceeds their tax liability. The bill, sponsored by Democrats and Republicans, would limit the credit to what the companies owe, effectively eliminating refunds.

Bill sponsors question the direct link to jobs and whether the $30 million in tax incentives distributed to film companies in 2011 could've been better spent.