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  • Summary date: Apr 21 2023 - View Summary

    Creates the Production Soundstage Grant Fund in the Department of Commerce (DOC) to provide grants to applicants to construct soundstages in the state. Defines soundstage as a building, including ancillary buildings, that is (1) purpose-built, renovated, or converted for production, (2) has a minimum of 20,000 square feet of floor space, (3) incorporates a permanent grid, and (4) has column spacing of at least 40 feet by 40 feet with a clear height of at least 24 feet under the permanent grid. Specifies that for purposes of this definition, "ancillary buildings" are used for office space, mill space, workshops, and property or wardrobe storage if production-related and located on property contiguous to a soundstage that is funded in whole or in part by funds provided in this act.

    Requires DOC to consult with the NC Film Office (Office) to develop guidelines for the program, including capping funding at $2 million per soundstage and setting out factors which are to be given priority in awarding grants. Sets out requirements for the application process. Requires applications to be substantiated before money can be awarded and sets out requirements for that process.

    Requires DOC and the Office to report to the specified NCGA committee and division annually, beginning December 1, 2024, on the program's implementation. Sets out information that must be included in the report.

    Requires DOC to develop guidelines related to the administration of the Grant Fund and to the selection of soundstages that will receive grants. Requires DOC, at least 20 days before the effective date of any guidelines or nontechnical amendments to the guidelines, to publish the proposed guidelines on its website and give notice to persons who have requested notification of proposed guidelines. Requires DOC to accept comments on the proposed guidelines during the 15 business days beginning on the first day that DOC has completed these notifications.

    Requires grant money to be forfeited if an applicant receives a grant: (1) for which it submitted incorrect information or was otherwise ineligible to apply or (2) with which it expends such funds in a manner inconsistent with these provisions. 

    Expires for funds not awarded by July 1, 2028. Specifies that for funds awarded before July 1, 2028, these provisions expire for soundstages not placed in service by July 1, 2030.

    Appropriates $12.5 million for 2023-24 from the General Fund to DOC to be allocated to the Production Soundstage Grant Fund. Allows DOC to use up to 5% of these funds for administrative costs.

    Effective July 1, 2023.