'Sleepy Hollow' to leave NC
Posted January 19, 2015
Wilmington, N.C. — Production of a third season of the Fox television show "Sleepy Hollow" won't take place in North Carolina, according to Wilmington officials.
"Sleepy Hollow" is wrapping up filming of second-season episodes along the coast, but if Fox picks up the series for a third season, episodes will be produced in Georgia.
Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo calls the loss of the series devastating and says it's part of what he considers a snowball of production losses. He blames lawmakers who decided against renewing North Carolina's tax incentives for film and TV productions.
Since 2010, productions have been able to claim a 25 percent refund on qualified spending on a production, up to $20 million. Producers applied for $62.2 million in credits in 2013, the most recent information available, including nearly $1.5 million for "Sleepy Hollow."
Lawmakers have replaced the tax break with a grant program that has $10 million available for the first six months of 2015.
Saffo said TV and film inquiries are down more than 80 percent since lawmakers switched the incentives to grants, and the losses go far beyond entertainment.
"We're feeling it. We're seeing the effects of it, and when you're in a competitive mode where we've lost Continental Tire, we've lost BMW, we've lost other plants that were even thinking about coming here, it seems we've put out a sign that says North Carolina is not open for business," Saffo said.
He said he hopes lawmakers will consider some sort of incentive compromise this legislative session. Otherwise, he said he expects more productions to move out of state.