The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s announcement today that film and TV productions spent $4.1 billion in Georgia in the last fiscal year demonstrates the positive economic impact the state’s tax policies are producing and the importance of the industry to Georgia businesses large and small.
“Today’s report proves that our film tax credit has turned Georgia into one of the top places globally to film and that it’s working as intended,” said Kelsey Moore, executive director of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Coalition. “The billions spent here in the last fiscal years are dollars that have flowed into Georgia businesses that sell lumber, lighting, trucks, travel services, catering and hotel rooms and into the family budgets of thousands of hard-working Georgians employed in this industry.
“The film tax credit fuels the success and growth we’ve witnessed, and Georgia businesses have met the demand by investing billions in infrastructure. Protecting the film tax credit means protecting those investments and saving the high-paying, fulfilling jobs we’ve created here. A stable tax system undergirds our No. 1 business climate.”
Today’s release from the state highlights that Georgia is well on its way to housing the most square footage of soundstages in North America, growing from 45,000 square feet in 2010 to 7 million by 2025. Film-related capital investment in Georgia from 2012-22 totaled $1.3 billion, and the success of the state’s industry is driving explosive infrastructure growth. Georgia studios plan another $2.9 billion in construction spending in only five years, 2023-2027.
Moore pointed out that not all of the $4.1 billion in spending is eligible for the film tax credit, noting that only expenditures specified by state law qualify and that eligible goods and services must be purchased from Georgia-based businesses.
“Not all of these dollars earn a tax credit, but all of them circulate through Georgia’s economy,” Moore said. “Georgia’s smart policy decisions around the film tax credit are benefiting the people of our state. Our incentive aimed to spur investment, and it has because people had faith in Georgia’s commitment to the industry. Other states that eliminated the film tax credit provide a warning to Georgia, which competes globally for productions. You just have to look at Florida, Louisiana and North Carolina to see why Georgia needs the film tax credit. They had robust film industries, and now they don’t.”
Hilton H. Howell Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of Assembly Atlanta
“Thanks to strong policies like the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, thousands of Georgians now work in an industry that did not have a significant presence in our state just decades ago.
“The hard work of this community of Georgians has led to best-in-class local crew and countless businesses, both large and small, to support this growing industry. This foundation enabled Gray Television to enlist over 120 local companies to create Assembly Studios — a state-of-the-art film complex in Doraville on the site of the former General Motors Assembly Plant. Very soon, Assembly will open its gates — generating a myriad of jobs for Georgians, unlocking their creative potential with limitless upward mobility.
“We look forward to Assembly Studios adding to the immense impact of film and television to the state of Georgia and continuing to make Georgia a global leader in this industry.”
Joel Harber, CEO, Athena Studios
“Athena Studios applauds Georgia’s leadership for its support of the film tax incentive which has led to this incredible level of spending in our state by the film and television industry.
“With the continued support of the film tax incentive by our state leaders, Athena Studios will play an important role in Georgia’s film industry by providing positive economic impact beyond metro Atlanta for years to come.
“We’re committed to providing work opportunities for the people of Athens including college students who benefit from our partnership with the University of Georgia. Our goal is to train students for the jobs of the future, ensuring that our best and brightest stay right here in Georgia.”
Rich Goldberg, CEO, BlueStar Studios
“Behind these impressive film industry numbers are thousands of Georgians investing in their own communities and futures.
“As the first purpose-built studio campus in Clayton County, BlueStar Studios’ reclamation of the former Ft. Gillem Army Depot in Forest Park is another great example of a transformational community development centered around film studios in Georgia.
“Principally funded, financed and built by Georgians, we intend to quadruple in size over the next two years and provide even more opportunities for the growing and thriving film industry, fueled by the next generation of students who are being trained statewide by our universities, technical colleges and high schools.”