This recent AP article states that a “Georgia state council” is rethinking the state’s aggressive tax credit program that’s been attracting film production companies to the state over the last couple years. As we all know, Decatur’s been just one beneficiary on the credit, most recently hosting a Jennifer Garner film over on Pinetree Drive. Why are they rethinking the credits? Well, that’s not all that clear…
In January, though, a Georgia state council said those benefits are fleeting. It said even though the crews bring jobs — and lots of people who spend money locally on food and lodging — those benefits are lost when they pack up and leave after filming.
The council recommended ditching the film tax break, which meant $140.6 million in lost tax revenues last year. Film producers spent $617 million in Georgia last year.
The article goes on to provide first-hand accounts of all the ways the film tax credit is creating jobs in the state and how other states are also implementing similarly tempting tax credits to movie-makers. However, the one important item missing from this article is “What the tax revenue was prior to the creation of the more aggressive tax credit in 2008?” If it was far less than $617 million, than that $140.6 million in “lost tax revenue” wasn’t actually “lost” because without it we wouldn’t have the additional revenue in the first place. Weird.