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Film industry proponents want Georgia’s film tax credit to stay

The tax program offers up to 30% income tax credits for productions that film in the state.

ATLANTA — Georgia has built a film and television industry that is starting to rival Los Angeles and New York, spurring billions in sound stages, transforming underinvested areas and creating tourism opportunities.

But that could be derailed if Georgia alters its film tax credit, industry proponents told state lawmakers Wednesday, according to reporting from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“Everybody wants to be Georgia,” said Hilton Howell, board chairman and CEO of Gray Television, which is opening a new film campus in Doraville called Assembly Studios where NBCUniversal will be the anchor tenant.

“This is a cash cow now,” he added. “You feed your winner because they keep going. You starve your winners, then they stop winning. It’s just that simple.”

Howell was one of the speakers who testified during a nearly four-hour meeting in Athens of the Joint Tax Credit Review Panel, a committee of House and Senate legislators conducting a sweeping review of the state’s tax credits. They will recommend whether to change or end incentive programs before the 2024 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

The discussion comes at a pivotal point for Georgia’s film and TV industry. As ongoing Hollywood labor strikes come to an end, the state could see a burst of productions and more writers moving to the state, industry sources say. Uncertainty around Georgia’s film tax credit puts that momentum at risk, they say.

The tax program offers up to 30% income tax credits for productions that film in the state.

At a June tax committee meeting, former state fiscal economist Jeffrey Dorfman told Georgia lawmakers that incentives should be used sparingly and only to spur new industries

Read the full report at our partners, Atlanta Business Chronicle, website here.

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