Effects of film industry tax incentive rollback 

Freeze Frame: Information about South Carolina's film industry

Nothing to Kidd about

Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees is being made into a movie, according to Variety.

But you won't find it being made in Charleston, the best-selling author's home town.

Nope, the movie will be shot in North Carolina, probably near Wilmington, where Screen Gems Studios is located.

Stars currently in negotiation for the movie adaptation of Kidd's novel include Dakota Fanning, Kate Hudson, Queen Latifah, and Alicia Keyes.

Meanwhile, Hollywood is swamping Missouri with tax-shelter applications. That state tripled its tax incentives in December, according to the Kansas City Star.

Even so, the amount, about $4.5 million, is tiny compared to South Carolina's incentives.

The Palmetto State spent $15 million in tax incentives in 2006.

State lawmakers, however, cut back incentives in June after discovering movie companies weren't hiring locals, according to a July 29 article in The State.

Cash subsidies were as much as 30 percent, but out-of-state hiring forced a congressional cutback of 15 percent on such hiring.

That may change if a bill currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee is passed. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Glenn F. McConnell, the Senate President Pro Tempore from Charleston, would increase incentives for hiring in-state to 20 percent. The bill would also increase tax breaks for expenditures of at least a million to 30 percent.

The bill was introduced to make South Carolina competitive with the many other states scrambling to attract Hollywood dollars.

Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Louisiana, according to figures from 2006 reported in The State, are the fastest-growing states for film jobs.

Meanwhile, counties in South Carolina saw negative growth in the same category: Greenville County was down nearly 3 percent and Charleston County was down about 2 percent. —John Stoehr


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