Friday, March 30, 2012

Georgia Tweaks its Program

The legislature in Georgia has just passed an amendment to its film incentive program, which is expected to be signed into law by the Governor. The current program remains largely in tact with a few tweaks.

Under the new law, in order to obtain the additional 10% "uplift" incentive, the Georgia promotional logo is now explicitly allowed to be a static image, rather than animated and must be placed "in the end credits before the below-the-line crew crawl" and "include a link to Georgia on the project's web page," leaving out the requirement of having it appear in every trailer. The new law also makes the logo placement requirements more clear for television series and other types of qualifying media, and allows for "alternative marketing opportunities to be evaluated by the Georgia Department of Economic Development to ensure that they offer equal or greater promotional value to the State of Georgia" in the event that the delineated logo requirements are not practicable for a production to include as outlined.

The other major change is that now production companies must pay withholding taxes in Georgia for all nonresident wages paid for services performed in Georgia, including nonresident actor loan outs, etc, which is a familiar requirement of other states. Furthermore, production companies will no longer be exempt from state sales tax fro purchases within the state, which also tracks with how other competitive programs work.

Overall, these changes do not appear to dramatically lessen Georgia's appeal as a production hub.