Lottery to fund Hungarian culture

By Gyorgy Karpati
    Hungary's cultural tax will be dissolved on January 1, 2010, and the budget of the National Cultural Fund of Hungary (www.nka.hu) will be covered by 90% of the national lottery's gambling tax, the Ministry of Education and Culture (www.okm.gov.hu) announced on May 28.

    Culture minister Istvan Hiller said in a press conference that this will be a long term solution to financing the NKA, adding that this resolution is similar to other EU countries such as Great Britain, Finland and Italy. The cultural tax amounted to €30,2 million in 2008, a decrease compared with 2007. The €11.1 million disbursed through May 19 was also less than the amount during the same period last year. The tax is based on advertisements, national and regional commercial TV broadcasts, a tax on theatrical screening, and sales of TV's, videos and projectors.

    Income from the lottery tax was €38.6 million last year in Hungary, which would have meant almost €35 million for culture in 2008.

    The decision will affect the Hungarian film industry through Motion Picture Section included in the NKA.