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Study: Ga. film incentives stole 800 jobs from LA

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Atlanta filmingGeorgia has nabbed some 800 jobs from the film and television industry in Los Angeles since 2008, according to a new study examining the impact of “runaway” film tax credits.

A white paper released last week by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. found tax incentives from Georgia, Louisiana and New York have triggered considerable displacement in the entertainment industry.

Georgia was not the first jurisdiction to offer film tax credits, but its incentives program is among the most generous in the world.

The state’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act, passed in 2008, affords a 20 percent tax credits for those production outfits that spend at least a half million dollars a year. An additional 10 percent reduction is offered to those projects that include the state’s promotion logo in closing credits. (Non-unionized labor is also a considerable draw.)

“Arguabaly, runaway production has had a deleterious effect on industry employment,” the LAEDC report reads. “New York State alone added 14,100 jobs in the sector [since 2004], while Georgia added nearly 800 jobs. Meanwhile, Louisiana added over 2,200 jobs since implement its own tax-credit program in 2002.”

In 2004, its peak, L.A.’s film and television business generated 118,200 jobs. Its fallen 14 percent, down to 102,100 jobs last year, in the period since.

- James Richardson