Governor Barnes Signs Legislation To Boost Film Industry

Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism

    ATLANTA, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Roy Barnes signed House Bill
 610 today providing a tax incentive to film producers locating a project in
 Georgia.  The legislation, which was introduced by Representative Jeanette
 Jamieson (D-Toccoa), originated in the Governor-appointed Georgia Film &
 Videotape Advisory Commission.  Late last year, the commission's chairman
 Michael Coles presented a study to Governor Barnes illustrating competitors'
 incentive packages positioning Georgia at a disadvantage when marketing the
 state to film producers.  One of the elements of the study was a sales and use
 tax exemption that passed the Senate March 21 by a unanimous vote and was sent
 to the Governor for signing.
     In signing the bill, Governor Barnes underscored the historic importance
 of the legislation.  "This is the first time that we have passed legislation
 to help the film industry which has been a major contributor to Georgia's
 economy, generating over $3 billion dollars."
     In 1987, Georgia's film industry ranked third in the nation, a top
 location for both feature film and television producers.  Since that time,
 Georgia's standing as a production state has slipped.  In the last seven
 years, Canada has adopted a roster of tax incentives for studio productions,
 including an 11 percent tax rebate on labor costs that is at least matched by
 many provincial governments.  Across the U.S., and especially in the
 southeastern region, over half the states have passed legislation offering
 incentives to producers in order to remain competitive.
     Coles believes the new industry incentives will make a difference.  "We
 now have a tool that we can use to attract studios, production companies, and
 independent filmmakers to all of Georgia.  It is a tool that says to those
 producers that we value and want their business.  My thanks goes to the
 Governor and our General Assembly for believing in the financial and creative
 value of Georgia's film and video industry."
     Film Office director Greg Torre views the industry-based incentive as a
 milestone for the people and service organizations that have worked the past
 26 years to keep Georgia on the minds of the entertainment industry decision-
 makers.  "Georgia is already a great package.  Within the state, a producer
 can find experienced crews, equipment, on-camera talent, great locations, and
 a myriad of support services -- all directed towards ease of production.  This
 incentive will add a crucial financial element that producers are looking for
 when selecting a location."
     Torre, a 13-year veteran of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade &
 Tourism feels confident that production numbers will increase as a result of
 this much-needed financial incentive.  With well over $100 million in annual
 economic impact, state government officials have long known that locating a
 film production in Georgia means business in the creation of jobs and
 increases in tourism.
     Last year Georgia located 11 films and television productions including
 the hits "Remember the Titans" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance."  The most
 recent film activity took place in Columbus, Ga.  In the month of March, Ft.
 Benning served as the filming location of  "We Were Soldiers Once...and
 Young," starring Mel Gibson, Sam Elliot, and Greg Kinnear.
     Located in Atlanta, the Georgia Film & Videotape Office is a division of
 the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism that markets Georgia
 locations, crew, on-camera talent, and support services to the motion picture
 and television industry.  For additional information on the office or the
 "Georgia Night in LA," please call 404-656-3591, or visit www.georgia.org .
 
 

SOURCE Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism
    ATLANTA, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Roy Barnes signed House Bill
 610 today providing a tax incentive to film producers locating a project in
 Georgia.  The legislation, which was introduced by Representative Jeanette
 Jamieson (D-Toccoa), originated in the Governor-appointed Georgia Film &
 Videotape Advisory Commission.  Late last year, the commission's chairman
 Michael Coles presented a study to Governor Barnes illustrating competitors'
 incentive packages positioning Georgia at a disadvantage when marketing the
 state to film producers.  One of the elements of the study was a sales and use
 tax exemption that passed the Senate March 21 by a unanimous vote and was sent
 to the Governor for signing.
     In signing the bill, Governor Barnes underscored the historic importance
 of the legislation.  "This is the first time that we have passed legislation
 to help the film industry which has been a major contributor to Georgia's
 economy, generating over $3 billion dollars."
     In 1987, Georgia's film industry ranked third in the nation, a top
 location for both feature film and television producers.  Since that time,
 Georgia's standing as a production state has slipped.  In the last seven
 years, Canada has adopted a roster of tax incentives for studio productions,
 including an 11 percent tax rebate on labor costs that is at least matched by
 many provincial governments.  Across the U.S., and especially in the
 southeastern region, over half the states have passed legislation offering
 incentives to producers in order to remain competitive.
     Coles believes the new industry incentives will make a difference.  "We
 now have a tool that we can use to attract studios, production companies, and
 independent filmmakers to all of Georgia.  It is a tool that says to those
 producers that we value and want their business.  My thanks goes to the
 Governor and our General Assembly for believing in the financial and creative
 value of Georgia's film and video industry."
     Film Office director Greg Torre views the industry-based incentive as a
 milestone for the people and service organizations that have worked the past
 26 years to keep Georgia on the minds of the entertainment industry decision-
 makers.  "Georgia is already a great package.  Within the state, a producer
 can find experienced crews, equipment, on-camera talent, great locations, and
 a myriad of support services -- all directed towards ease of production.  This
 incentive will add a crucial financial element that producers are looking for
 when selecting a location."
     Torre, a 13-year veteran of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade &
 Tourism feels confident that production numbers will increase as a result of
 this much-needed financial incentive.  With well over $100 million in annual
 economic impact, state government officials have long known that locating a
 film production in Georgia means business in the creation of jobs and
 increases in tourism.
     Last year Georgia located 11 films and television productions including
 the hits "Remember the Titans" and "The Legend of Bagger Vance."  The most
 recent film activity took place in Columbus, Ga.  In the month of March, Ft.
 Benning served as the filming location of  "We Were Soldiers Once...and
 Young," starring Mel Gibson, Sam Elliot, and Greg Kinnear.
     Located in Atlanta, the Georgia Film & Videotape Office is a division of
 the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism that markets Georgia
 locations, crew, on-camera talent, and support services to the motion picture
 and television industry.  For additional information on the office or the
 "Georgia Night in LA," please call 404-656-3591, or visit www.georgia.org .
 
 SOURCE  Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism