Legislation ups tax credit to 25%

North Carolina is poised to up the ante in the competition for film production, after its state senate passed legislation boosting its refundable tax credit to filmmakers from 15% to 25%.

Under the terms of the bill, any film, TV show or commercial that spends a minimum of $250,000 on North Carolina goods, services and salaries would qualify. Above- and below-the-line expenditures are covered. The legislation would make North Carolina more competitive with such nearby states as South Carolina and Georgia, which offer breaks of up to 30%.

Gov. Beverly Perdue has 10 days to sign the bill.

“Chances are good that she will,” says North Carolina Film Office director Aaron Syrett. “She pushed hard to get this done.”

Following her signature, the higher tax breaks would go into effect Jan. 1. Syrett said it’s not yet clear whether projects begun in 2009 and finished in 2010 will qualify. “It depends on how you read the language,” he said.

Productions shooting in North Carolina include the CW’s “One Tree Hill” and the just-wrapped indie feature “Road to Nowhere,” directed by Monte Hellman.

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