The procedures for allocation of state funds for culture in Georgia are determined by the Constitution, Law on the State Budget of Georgia, and the annual state budget laws.
The Cabinet of Ministers develops and submits to the Parliament the draft State Budget. It is the role of the Parliament to approve the State Budget on the proposal of the Prime Minister and supervise its implementation. The annual state budget law approves the amount of revenues and expenditures for the following year, including centralized and local ones.
All proposals for the allocation of state funds for culture are based on the country development estimates and forecasts for the next year.
Culture action plans are prepared and aggregated in the preparation of the draft state budget, which is initiated several months prior to the next budget year.
All budget institutions subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs submit, in accordance with the administrative hierarchy, their budget requests and forecasts to the Ministry which integrates them into a single application.
Under Georgian legislation (The Law on Culture, Article 29) financing of the cultural sector shall be determined by the state budget:
- The state safeguards the protection and development of culture by allocating finance under the state programme; and
- Cultural activity determined by the state programme is financed from the state budget in compliance with the Constitution and the Law on the Budgetary System and other acts of legislation.
In accordance with the Law on the State Budget of Georgia, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs is allocated a total amount for culture, sports and youth affairs. These funds are dispensed among the subordinate organizations, legal entities under public law and specific state programmes for culture, cultural heritage, sports and youth affairs. Specific programmes are designed for the various spheres of culture.
Local authorities allocate approximately 30% of all state expenditure on culture (in the 1990s the share of municipal (the Tbilisi city hall) and regional (the Autonomous Republic of Adjara) expenditures was higher). Some spheres of culture are financed from various state institutions, namely: archives are funded from the budget of the Ministry of Justice; the national library from the budget of the Georgian Parliament; while public TV and radio broadcasting has direct funding from the state budget.
In addition to these programmes, the state budget contains reserve funds for the Georgian Government and Parliament. The funds from these reserves are held for emergencies, such as disasters or for payment of unforeseen state liabilities. The reserve funds are dispensed via the relevant ministries. In rare cases, funds from the reserves are allocated to culture.
In compliance with Article 14 of the Tax Code, similar reserve funds are created in the local budgets of the autonomous republics.
Under the Law on Culture the state supports donations and sponsorship of private individuals and legal entities in the sphere of culture using tax incentives and other privileges established by Georgian legislation. However, Article 14 is not supported by adequate definitions in the Tax Code or other acts of legislation.