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Georgia Department of Economic Development doing a better job documenting the economic impact of film tax credit

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The Georgia Department of Economic Development is doing a better job documenting the economic impact of the state’s film tax credit, according to a follow-up review.

But the General Assembly has not acted to cap the credit to control its growth, as a 2020 audit had recommended.

Georgia has become a filmmaking center since lawmakers enacted the tax credit. The number of film production jobs in the Peach State rose from 10,900 in 2016 to 16,500 in 2019, an increase of 51%, according to a state Department of Audits & Accounts review released Monday.

The tax credit has more than doubled since 2013, reaching $961 million in tax year 2019. It’s the state’s largest income tax credit and the largest film incentive in the country.

While state policymakers cheered the jobs and economic impact the film tax credit was generating, the 2020 audit suggested a need for additional information to properly assess the costs and benefits of the credit both for decisionmakers and the general public.

The General Assembly passed legislation last year that provides for economic analyses of tax benefits, including credits, deductions, and exemptions. The bill also tightened rules governing how film companies transfer or sell unused tax credits to other businesses, a common practice for production groups that conduct part of their movie-making work outside Georgia. See more here.

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