Film Industry growing in Georgia.

A tax break passed in 2005 has provided a big boost to Georgia’s film industry:

By the end of September, film, TV, commercial and music video productions had spent $285 million in Georgia on hotel expenses, catering, local hiring and more, nearly doubling the $146 million attained in all of 2005, according to the state Film, Video and Music Office. The office estimates that by the end of this month, the year’s economic impact could rise north of $300 million.

“I think the film industry here is on the verge. I really, really do,” says Will Packer of Marietta’s Rainforest Films, which produced “Stomp the Yard” for Sony. “It’s like the music scene was, you know, 15 years ago when OutKast and Jermaine Dupri were just getting started.”

Today, recording stars, studios, record labels and more add up to a $1-billion-plus a year industry.

Hmmm…. if a tax break helped the film industry, perhaps tax breaks for all industries would help everyone?

7 comments

  1. bird says:

    Well if we cut more taxes, how could we afford the hundred plus million dollars a day we are spending every day in Iraq? It seems to me you are saying that we were better off with Saddam Hussein in power?!?! Are you even an American??

    We need to get back to the issues that matter to real Georgians, not jobs or economic stimulus, but gay marriage!

  2. liberty21 says:

    I guess that is the only successful industry in Georgia. While your worried about shunning Homosexuals. Jobs and industries are leaving Georgia and going to cheap labor markets. The influx of H-1B’s and L-1 visa workers and illegal immigrants coming into this country and employers hiring them for low wages is driving down wages of American workers. Bird the priority should be jobs, wages and the economy, not gay marriage.

  3. liberty21 says:

    industries get too many tax breaks. Film industry is not hard up for money. We need to end Corporate Welfare in Georgia and Nationwide.

  4. defnotrep says:

    Hmmm well liberty21,

    I work in the film industry and was part of the team that lobbied for the tax incentive package.

    The incentive is revenue neutral meaning that it does not cost the State any tax dollars.

    Because so many states had passed tax legislation to bring films to their states, Georgia was no longer competitive. The year before this bill passed Georgia did about 32 mil in film business.

    It’s been a good decision for the State. It’s not corporate welfare because it is revenue neutral. You cannot tax business that does not come to the state.

    States, make that countries, want the film business because it is a clean business, doesn’t require infrastructure like schools, roads, etc.
    It just spends cash money in a short period of time.

    The bill had bipartisan support passing the Senate 149 to 1 and the House was something like 165 to 1.

  5. bird says:

    In all seriousness, this was a good bill. The film industry is generally non-polluting, offers great paying jobs and raises the profile of Georgia nationally. See The Dukes of Hazzard.

    But back to no smiles. If this is revenue neutral, and I have no reason to believe that it isn’t, then this is a win-win. And buzz, we can do this with more industries, but we need to make sure that the industries we are attracting are offering good jobs and not exploiting Georgia’s natural resources or unacceptably damaging our environment.

    You can’t cut the tax rate on every industry and expect that to be good for Georgia.

  6. defnotrep says:

    bird,

    It was very important to the Governor that the bill be revenue neutral. I tend to agree with this although I think we would probably have doubled our business if our incentive was a little sweeter deal.

    The film industry in GA is still not competitive with Louisiana or our neighbors in South Carolina from an incentive viewpoint.

    The remake of the “Dukes” along with the “Ray Charles” story both were shot in Louisiana strictly because of their incentive package. Both shows scouted here and wanted to come here. Warner Brothers even sent a letter saying they would come here if an incentive was in place. At the time, we did not have an incentive package. I think those films totalled around 2oo mil in production dollars.

    The film business could be a billion dollar business for Georgia. It’s a great business with no real downside.

    One last point….it’s great for tourism and marketing. Savannah experienced a surge in tourism after the movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

    Accolades for the film incentive bill should go out to Bart Graham, Revenue Commissioner. He learned about our industry and worked hard to make the bill a reality. It never would have happened with out his knowledge, work and support. He’s a definite winner for the Governor.

Comments are closed.