Georgia lawmakers kill effort to cap film tax credits as production hub continues to rival California

Georgia lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have limited how much the state can spend on tax incentives for film and TV production, reaffirming the increasingly popular production hub's position as one of California's biggest rivals. The legislation died this week after easily passing through the House in February, according to the Associated Press.

By the time the bill failed however, efforts to restrict Georgia's spending on production tax credits were already dead in the water.

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The original version of the bill would have capped Georgia's annual spending on production incentives at 2.5% of the state budget — or about $900 million. For context, Georgia is expected to dole out $1.35 billion in filming credits this year alone, according to Joe Chianese, senior vice president of Entertainment Partners, a company that tracks production incentives worldwide.

However, the Senate Finance Committee effectively eliminated the proposed credit ceiling last week by amending the bill to curb annual spending to 2.3% — or about $830 million — while exempting major studio productions from the cap. In practice, such a law would have probably changed nothing — as $830 million would have been more than sufficient to cover smaller, independent productions, while big studio players such as Netflix and Marvel would have been exempt.

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Film and TV production in Georgia has skyrocketed in recent years, including countless blockbuster projects ranging from Tyler Perry's "Madea" franchise and Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" to Netflix's "Stranger Things."

There are at least 39 film and TV projects currently shooting in the Peach State, including the sixth season of Netflix's "Cobra Kai," the second season of ABC's "Will Trent" and Sony's upcoming historical pic "SNL 1975."

Georgia is among several rising production hubs (including Louisiana, New York, Canada and the United Kingdom, to name a few) whose growing infrastructures and generous tax credit programs have been luring studios away from California. The Golden State's tax incentive budget for film and TV production is currently capped at $330 million per year.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.