Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group backed by the Koch Brothers, is targeting Georgia’s film tax credit, arguing that it unfairly benefits film producers at the expense of other taxpayers.
How the tax credit works: If a movie or television production costs more than $500,000, the film production can qualify for up to a 30% tax credit against state income tax.
How these tax incentives can help you: Film companies can’t always use their full tax credit, so they sell them at a discount to Georgia taxpayers with high income who can use the tax credits to offset their state tax liability.
According to Craig Miller, owner of Craig Miller Productions and chair of the Georgia Film, Music, Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission, Georgia never would have attracted the film industry without the tax incentives.
Since film tax credits were first offered in 2008, Georgia has become the third largest film industry in the world. Jennifer Brett, a reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports that the industry has brought 80,000 jobs to the state and more than $4 billion in wages. In a single year, Georgia’s film industry can be credited with:
- $2.2 billion in direct spending in Georgia
- $7 billion in total economic impact
- 245 feature films & television productions in Georgia (see what’s filming)
To put these numbers in context, the State of Georgia’s entire budget is $21 billion.
Jennifer Brett said she would be “shocked” if Georgia abandoned its film tax credit since Governor Deal has been “extremely supportive,” but Georgia taxpayers should not be complacent. Americans for Prosperity successfully attacked Florida’s film tax incentives, and when the state of North Carolina rolled back its tax incentives, film productions left. Brett explains that the first Hunger Games movie was filmed in North Carolina, but its three sequels were filmed in Georgia.
To voice our continued support for the Georgia film tax credit, we sent this letter to Governor Deal. You can send your own letter to Governor Deal by copying & customizing this sample text.