North Carolina signs new prod. tax credits bill

Boosts eligibility cap of each project to $20 million

NEW YORK -- While New York lawmakers have been dragging their feet to pass a new budget including production tax credits and states like New Jersey have ended such incentives, North Carolina a few days ago quietly sweetened the incentives it offers film and TV productions.

Gov. Beverly Perdue late last week signed a new production tax credits bill into law that covers up to 25% of an expanded range of expenditures and boosts the eligibility cap of each project from $7.5 million to $20 million. The program has no annual budget cap.

The legislation broadens qualifying expenses to include, among others, labor fringe benefits (including health, pension and welfare contributions), as well as per diems, stipends and living expenses.

The film industry brought more than $326 million in direct spending to North Carolina over the past three years, according to state officials.

"North Carolina is a top destination for film and television," said Aaron Syrett, director of the North Carolina Film Office. "It turns the economic engines in our state. Our incentive is strong and competitive because we're serious about bringing business to North Carolina."

Among current productions in the state are the eighth season of CW series "One Tree Hill" and feature film "Bolden" about Buddy Bolden.
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