Georgia senators want to cap state’s movie tax credit

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Opponents said the grant drew industry to Georgia.

ATLANTA — A Senate committee on Monday passed a bill that would cap Georgia’s lucrative movie tax credit. The film industry has used the credit to establish a huge presence in the state – worth billions of dollars.

But some economists say it’s also a drain on taxpayers and some lawmakers want to fix it.

The Senate Finance Committee was considering a state income tax overhaul when its members pulled out a surprise that could somewhat suppress the state’s film industry.

The film industry tax credit basically compensates film companies to work here. As the industry grew, jobs in Georgia also increased. But so has the state’s obligation to subsidize the industry — which a Kennesaw state economist said was worth $220 per household in 2019 — and has expanded to $330 per household. two years later.

“That’s way higher than the average for the past five years. It’s still growing,” State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) said during a hearing Monday. “I could get into the things we pay for – private jets, chefs and personal trainers. That probably needs some cleaning up.”

The Senate Finance Committee measure would cap the movie tax credit at $900 million per year, around the 2019 level. Currently, there is no cap on the state movie grant.

The proposed cap took some lawmakers by surprise.

“Seventy-five thousand people working in this industry in this state,” Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) said at the committee meeting Monday. “And I just feel very, very cautious about our removal of this tax credit that has made us the third highest state in the nation for movie business.”

The Senate committee voted to cap the movie tax credit without taking any testimony from the backers of Georgia’s film industry – who have delivered, with the help of taxpayers, an industry now worth billions to the world. ‘State.

“Well, we’re probably going to have a lot of (their) concerns over the next week,” Hufstetler said.

The 2021 session of the General Assembly is due to adjourn on April 4.


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