Greensboro, N.C. - Greensboro's City Council is loaning $300,000 of your tax dollars to help launch a TV show that might or might not get picked up by a major network. The goal is to encourage other films and TV shows to consider Greensboro as a place to film their projects.
The show is called, "Whatcha Cookin,'" and it is being filmed in Greensboro. It will feature stars from outside the city, but also employ at least eight local people who will assist with production. It's a sitcom about a woman who gets a cooking show
This is new territory for the city of Greensboro. The city council has watched cities like Wilmington and Charlotte cash in on the film and TV business. Now, Greensboro wants to get involved.
But, is this a good use of tax payer dollars? We asked Mayor Robbie Perkins and Council Member Jim Kee.
"In order to address those (city) needs, we have to bring more revenue into the city. So, this is the sole intent...to help bring more revenue into Greensboro," Kee said.
Perkins added, "We are repairing our roads. We're repairing our water and sewer system. But, the biggest thing we have to do in Greensboro is grow jobs. We have to grow jobs that have the potential of paying people a really good wage or salary."
Where is the $300,000 coming from? The city changed its vehicle maintenance program, which saved about $300,000. Council members decided to spend that money on a loan for the "Whatcha Cookin'" show.
The city has been taking about half a cent out of every tax dollar that goes into the general fund. They have been putting that money into an economic development fund. It added up to about $605,000 for 2012-2013. It will add up to $1.2 million for 2013-2014.
However, all that economic development money is already allocated. WFMY News 2 has put in a request to the city to find out where that money's going.
Black Network Television will have ten years to pay back the $300,000 loan to the city, with interest. The company's owners have put their home up as collateral.