As promised Governor Roy Cooper is going to bat for the film industry. He wants to bring back the good old incentive days. And we should be celebrating.
While I absolutely love his intentions, I don’t think we should jump up and down and break out the champagne quite yet. If you follow the NCGA when it comes to film religiously, you know there will be some major push back, to say the least.
I suppose that’s why I didn’t drum up an immediate blog when I saw the budget proposal. But at the same time, I know I should at least let everyone know what the heck is going on.
This week, Gov. Cooper added a Film and Entertainment Tax Incentive (the dreaded word) as part of the budget proposal. If we wanna get anywhere with the NCGA, we need to call it what it is: a rebate.
It would provide up to $9 million for a television series, $12 million for a feature film and $250,000 for commercials. AND the best part it would have no annual cap. You know, like the incentive, err, rebate, we had before the whole grant mess.
This Utopian plan if agreed upon by the House and the Senate would go into effect January 2018. When the grant runs out this July, they would add $15 million to it to tide us over until the end of the year.
Now Cooper made another promise which I know he is doing his best to accomplish. Getting rid of HB2. That’s going to need to happen in order for our film industry to blossom again.
From what I have been told, production companies call frequently asking the same question: Is it (HB2) gone yet?
We all know how much the NCGA just adores the old incentive (yes, that was sarcasm). And how much they just can’t wait to get rid of the “Bathroom Bill.” (yes, again)
So, I am not holding my breathe. Neither should you.
All we can do is hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. Wow, so doom and gloom, right? Damn. Have I become that jaded with NC politics?
On a happier note, it looks like TNT’s Good Behavior is getting back to work on Season 2 this month and we should know soon if SIX will return to Wilmington within the next couple weeks.