Georgia State Rep. David Clark (R-Buford) has introduced a bill that, if enacted into law, would repeal the state’s film, gaming, video, and digital production income tax credits.
The language of Clark’s bill says little else.
The Georgia General Assembly’s website lists Clark as the bill’s only sponsor.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, film and television studios take advantage of a state tax credit to film within the state. Studio executives can apply that tax credit to 20 percent of a production’s qualified expenditures in Georgia. They may also earn a potential 10 percent Georgia Entertainment Promotion uplift by including an embedded Georgia logo on approved projects.
“Only production companies are eligible to apply for these credits (sound stages do not qualify),” said GDEcD spokeswoman Marie Gordon, in an email to The Georgia Star News earlier this month.
“There is a salary cap of $500,000 per person, per production, for salaried employees.”
Lee Thomas, deputy commissioner of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office told members of the Georgia General Assembly this month that the film and television industry spent $2.9 billion in Georgia in 2019.
“This year, losing the months that we lost, we went down to $2.2 billion, which was still very good,” Thomas said at the time, referring to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We still had 234 feature films, television productions, commercials, and music videos.”
Thomas went on to say that these companies made a commitment to produce 75 projects and invest more than $2 billion in Georgia’s economy during the next 18 months. They also committed to purchase goods and services from more than 17,000 small Georgia businesses.”
Officials at those film studios, who generally lean left-of-center politically, have tried to use their clout to influence Georgia’s political landscape. As Atlanta Magazine reported in 2019, they and various actors threatened to boycott Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed a law that would have banned most abortions after six weeks. A federal judge has since struck down the law.
As The Star News reported in November, Democratic activist and failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams tapped Hollywood’s elite to help elect current U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA).
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