Have you ever noticed the Georgia state peach logo at the end of a movie?
Chances are, that film company received a large state tax credit to conduct operations in Georgia.
To ensure that logo appears at the end of each movie filmed in the state, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce looks to protect the film industries large tax credit incentive under the Capitol.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is no stranger to lobbying at the Georgia State Capitol as it is known to assist with lobbying efforts of large businesses groups and corporations with a massive economic footprint in the state.
Entertainment industries throughout Georgia look to lobby state legislators more fiercely on how important the tax credits are to their industry and to the state’s economy. Popular film industries like Tyler Perry Studios, which is part of the new coalition to lobby legislators, takes advantage of the credits.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce sent out a statement about the new relationship with the entertainment industry on Wednesday.
Georgia Chamber of Commerce affiliate seeks to preserve a competitive business climate for film, television, and digital entertainment production.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition (GSEC), a statewide advocacy group focused on ensuring the long-term viability and success of Georgia’s screen entertainment industry.
“The founding members of GSEC represent Georgia’s top industry and private sector leaders, coming together in a unique collaboration with Georgia’s deep crew base, united by their commitment to protect and promote the screen entertainment industry in our state,” said Chris Clark, President & CEO of the Georgia Chamber. “With the incredible economic impact this industry has on our state, we’re proud to introduce GSEC as the unified, cohesive voice of the industry at the capitol.”
“Georgia’s screen entertainment industry has become one of the most competitive in the world, thanks in large part to the leadership of Governor Deal and the General Assembly,” said Frank Patterson, GSEC Chair and President of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. “GSEC’s ultimate goal is to serve as the expert resource for policymakers as they steward the state’s successful tax credit program and develop legislation that will impact this industry and our partners.”
GSEC will advocate for policies that strengthen infrastructure and support workforce development within the screen entertainment industry. GSEC will also serve as a voice and resource for the Georgia owned and operated local businesses who provide services and products to the industry. “We’re proud to be part of the leadership shaping the future of this industry in Georgia,” said Steve Mensch, Vice-Chair of GSEC and President & General Manager of Studio Operations at Tyler Perry Studios. “The scale of private investment in production
infrastructure in Georgia is indicative of the enormous potential for additional job creation and positive economic impact for all Georgians.”
Georgia gives out generous tax credits to many industries such as Delta Airlines. In recent years, Georgia has given out over 30 percent of transferable tax credits to the Georgia entertainment industry, according to the state’s Department of Economic Development.
A law was passed, called the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which allows for the film industry to take advantage of large tax incentives. Below is what a film related business can apply for in Georgia:
- 20 percent base transferable tax credit
- 10 percent Georgia Entertainment Promotion (GEP) uplift can be earned by including an embedded Georgia logo on approved projects and a link to ExploreGeorgia.org/Film on the promotional website
- $500,000 minimum spend to qualify
- No limits or caps on Georgia spend, no sunset clause
- Both resident and non-resident workers’ payrolls and FICA, SUI, FUI qualify
- No salary cap on individuals paid by 1099, personal service contract or loan out. Payments made to a loan out company will require six percent Georgia income tax withheld
- Production expenditures must be made in Georgia to qualify from a Georgia vendor
- Travel and insurance qualify if purchased through a Georgia agency or company
- Original music scoring eligible for projects produced in Georgia qualify
- Post production of Georgia filmed movies and television projects qualify if post done in Georgia
- Development costs, promotion, marketing, license fees and story right fees do not qualify
A value-added benefit for any film industry seeking to operate may subject themselves to a “voluntary audit” of their use of the tax incentive program for which the law allows.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s website, the Georgia Department of Revenue will offer producers a review and verification of transactions that are eligible for the Georgia Film Tax Credit. This is a voluntary program and the costs of any audit do not count towards the tax credit. The verification reviews will be done on a first come/first serve basis. Click to learn additional information and to obtain the GDOR’s application form.