'Sleepy Hollow' to leave NC

Posted January 19, 2015

— 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.


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  • Eq Videri Jan 20, 2015
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    Georgia's Republican governor and Republican legislature, South Carolina's Republican governor and Republican legislature, and Louisiana's Republican governor and Republican legislature heartily applaud the decision of North Carolina's Republican governor and Republican legislature to hand them our 5,000 direct film jobs -- and the resulting boost to the construction, retail, and service sectors their state and local economies. No one is prouder of North Carolina than our competitor states are.

  • Bo Hart Jan 20, 2015
    user avatar

    politics suck ...

  • OGE Jan 20, 2015

    Thank You so much to our awesome elected officials(REPUBLICANS) for driving the film industry away from NC!

  • peterk1970 Jan 20, 2015

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    Bad shows still produce jobs.
    You remember what the GOP ran on, right? Jobs! Not unconstitutional bills and unconstitutional laws and a radical right wing social agenda. But jobs.
    And now jobs are leaving.

  • MyNameIsMud Jan 20, 2015

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    The Republican-controlled State Legislature is harming NC in so many ways.

  • John McCray Jan 20, 2015
    user avatar

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    Wasn't their whole idea was to correct the course of action the state had taken over the last 100 years?

  • Jackie Brooks Jan 20, 2015
    user avatar

    This guy is full of it.
    1)Continental, went to SC for Charleston's deep water port.
    2)He failed to note they were lost in 2011 during Purdue's administration.
    3) No production team moves without extensive research which SH had obvioulsy begun before any change in incentives.

  • corwinsshadow Jan 20, 2015

    Sad that the state is losing this (and probably other) good productions. But I've always been uneasy at these industry-specific incentives or, as I call them, kickbacks. What began as a good idea soon became Hollywood holding states hostage to bid for the "favor" of hosting their productions because of some economic benefits. The same goes with other business- or industry-specific incentives. You want jobs? Then how much are you willing to give up in taxes, zoning, planning, regulatory, labor and other considerations? They need to create an overall appealing business environment that applies broadly to businesses in the state and new business that comes to the state, with reasonable taxes, good labor pool, and excellent quality of life. Anything else is cronyism and political favoritism, and should be off the table.

  • Brigand Jan 20, 2015

    The GOP does not understand that tax investment can mean a great return for the State.

    Also, as others have pointed our, the Republicans will fight to the death to give the Oil Industry hundreds of millions!....Explain that GOP true believers.

  • tar97heel Jan 20, 2015

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    They have been. Corporate and personal tax rates were cut for 2014, and further cut for 2015. Of course, for small business owners who make less than $750,000 a year or so, going from 6% to 5% is laughable as far as any positive effect on small business owners. WHat IS affecting small business owners is the elimination of the first- $50,000-tax-free rule that was in effect from 2011-2013, which was a huge help to SMALL business owners. And of course, NONE of the tax cuts comes close to what the film industry was getting. And like a previous poster stated, it's not paying for "glamour," it's giving thousands of people a reason to keep bolstering the NC economy and housing market, who will now be leaving for GA