RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- A bill to eliminate the end of North Carolina's film incentives overcame its first hurdle in the General Assembly today. HB 1142 passed its first reading as the House of Representatives referred it to the Finance Committee.
The next step will be for the Finance Committee to consider the proposal, sponsored by New Hanover County Democrat Susi Hamilton. The bill has support from members of both parties, including Republicans Ted Davis of New Hanover County and Frank Iler of Brunswick County, who signed on as sponsors. House Finance Committee chair Rep. Julia Howard, a Republican from Mocksville, has already said that that the state's current incentives for film projects, which are set to run out at the end of the year, are unacceptable.
In addition to doing away with the sunset provision of the film incentives, Hamilton's bill would also require productions to spend at least $300,000 before qualifying for a 25-percent tax rebate. That's up from the current threshold of $250,000.
The key to the success of the bill is support from both sides of the aisle, and if enough Republicans will join Davis and Iler in supporting it. So far they have two more Republicans to sign on as sponsors, but one of them, Rep. Robert Brawley of Mooresville, was kicked out of the House Republican Caucus today.
There's no word yet when or if the House Finance Committee will debate the bill.