The 1st draft of the NC House budget for 2015-2016 has come out. And of course I went straight to film (page 162). I am not sure how this makes any sense what so ever. If you look at the numbers column you will see $0 for 2015-2016, but $60M for 2016-2017. HOWEVER, the verbage says otherwise:
Provides funds to the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund established NR in G.S. 143B-437.02A, to encourage the production of motion pictures, television shows, and commercials and to develop the filmmaking industry within the State. In addition to the $60 million appropriated for FY 2016-17, another $60 million is earmarked and appropriated to the Fund from the FY 2014-15, bringing the total amount available for grants to $120 million.
UPDATE: This is going to sound quite confusing but I’m just telling you what was told to me. The reason why there is no $60M for the 2015-2016 fical year in this budget is because it is coming from the “Unreserved Fund Balance.” From what I’ve been told, that is part of the $400M surplus we had.
So, it looks as though $60M for two consecutive years is a decent starting point. Now, this is not a final budget; it’s just a starting point. We shall see how it all plays out. Honestly, it wont be shocking to see that number go down to $30-40M when the NC House is all done with it. Remember, it still has to go through the Senate too. I will keep you posted!