North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes a return to the state’s film incentive program, anticipated to begin in January 2018!
Star News reports that the governor’s proposed budget would return the state’s funding for film projects to an incentive-based format, as was the previously successful program that brought huge productions (Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games, Sleepy Hollow) to the state, until 2015 when the General Assembly cut the program’s budget to $10 million and converted it to a grant-based program.
While the grant program’s budget was eventually increased to $30 million per year for 2016 and 2017, filming in the state has nearly dried up in regards to large-scale productions, most of which have left for Georgia, which offers film incentives.
The report continues: The governor’s spokeswoman, Noelle Talley, said the budget anticipates that the incentive program will begin again in January 2018 and estimates that it will cost the state $20 million in 2018-19 and $40 million per year thereafter, though the program would again have no cap.
She said the budget includes a $15 million appropriation “to fund the current film grant program to smooth the transition until January 2018.”
Wilmington Regional Commission director Johnny Griffin still has questions about the specifics of the governor’s proposed film funding, including how long it will last.
“It will literally be in the details,” he said. “If you don’t have that longevity, that is one of the things our clients are going to ask about. What does it mean two and three years down the road?”
The commission had no input in the governor’s film proposal, Griffin added.