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How Georgia's Film Industry Could Self Destruct in 2016

Politicians are strongly considering getting rid of Georgia's Film Tax Credits.

There are several major movies and TV shows filming in Atlanta, Georgia right now. You have The Originals, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and the upcoming Spider-Man movie. But, Georgia's film industry may come to an end if a few Georgia politicians have their way. Gov. Nathan Deal gave a major speech earlier this week to the corporate leaders at the Eggs & Issues breakfast. But, what was supposed to be a nice conversation about the future of Georgia, quickly became an argument about protecting Georgia's film industry. jennifer-lawrence-atlanta-georgia-aquarium According to the AJC, Gov. Nathan Deal revealed that he is "committed to protecting the film tax credits" but, he may run into serious issues this 2016. “So let me state here and now that I am committed to protecting the film tax credits that make this type of blockbuster economic impact possible," Gov. Nathan Deal said.

“So let me state here and now that I am committed to protecting the film tax credits that make this type of blockbuster economic impact possible"

He adds: "Why would anyone want to make changes to our current system which would only infringe on an industry that employs thousands of Georgians, brings new business to our state regularly and generates billions of dollars in our statewide economy?  We have found an incentives structure that works. I see no need to alter or fix something that is not broken.” Image Courtesy: AMC Image Courtesy: AMC

"We have found an incentives structure that works. I see no need to alter or fix something that is not broken.”

According to the report, Gov. Nathan Deal is advocating tax credits to major motion pictures but, is planning on adding new fees and tax hikes to fund new transportation improvements. From the AJC:

Anti-tax crusaders, tea party members and fiscal conservatives have lobbed unrelenting attacks at supporters of the plan, which Republican state Sen. Bill Heath called “the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history.”

Several of the measure’s GOP supporters already face the threat of primary challenges from their right flank, and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist recently put House Speaker David Ralston on his year-end “naughty” list for his role in pushing the tax hike.

Apparently, representatives are upset that we are basically paying the bill for Georgia's film industry by increasing fees and taxes in other sectors. However, Gov. Nathan Deal responded by saying “We can now not only build new highways, we can better maintain and improve the roads and bridges we have," referring to the upcoming possible tax increase. The Vampire Diaries According to reports, Georgia's film and TV industry have provided over 79,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages, and brought in more than 120 companies to the Peach State in the last seven years. However, film tax credits never seem to last in any state. For example, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and California were forced to restructure their tax credit program due to budget constraints, which severely hurt their respective film industry. North Carolina's once had a thriving production community with several TV shows and movies filming all at once. However, North Carolina is lucky to have two shows filming this 2016. Louisiana was once ranked in the top 10 in the number of TV shows and movies filmed in the state. Now, the home Mardi-Gras is ranked behind Georgia after removing their tax credits and switching to a film grant program. In addition, other countries such as Georgia and Australia are providing more competitive tax credit systems in order to boost job creation and tourism. If representatives like Senator Bill Heath continue to push against, what he calls "the largest tax increase in Georgia's history," expect to see Georgia's film industry come to a complete stop.

What do you think will happen? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

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