RALEIGH (AP) - A new way to attract filmmakers to North Carolina has cleared a Senate committee.
A grant plan that would give money to film and television producers for their projects in exchange for locating to North Carolina was unanimously approved by a Senate budget committee Thursday.
The plan is a provision in the Senate Commerce bill and would create a $20 million fund to award grants to projects like feature-length films and television or video series productions that spend a certain amount in the state. It would replace a tax credit for the industry scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
Grants could be given to single projects for up to three years and prioritize those that bring the most benefit to local economies and give jobs to residents.
A North Carolina coalition of filmmakers and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is asking the General Assembly to continue a film tax incentive program that is scheduled to expire at the end of the year.
The N.C. Production Alliance and several lawmakers and mayors from across the state gathered Wednesday to support tax incentives that will draw film and television projects to the state. They say the film industry provides well-paying jobs to North Carolinians and directly benefits local businesses and economies.
They say filming has occurred in more than two-thirds of North Carolina's 100 counties.
Several House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill last month asking for a 25 percent tax break off from $300,000 in qualifying expenses. That measure is currently in the House Finance Committee pending review.