"The state is so easy for people to get to with the airport that we have here," said Perry, whose newest film, "Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween," opened on Oct. 21. "But for me, I love being in a place where there are more trees than people. I love having space and I love that you can come to Georgia and you can live so well here for what it would cost you so much more in a lot of other states, like California."
Perry was one of the first to take advantage of the state's generous tax incentive, which began in 2005. According to figures obtained from the Georgia Department of Revenue, the total average cost of the program between 2012–2014 was about $258 million per year, with a major increase last year. Preliminary numbers for 2015 show that producers earned at least $438 million in tax credits.
Film Production Capital ranks Georgia as one of only two "five-star states" in the nation (the other being Kentucky) to offer such a substantial inducement where production companies received a 30 percent tax credit on qualified money spent (anything directly related to the production, even stars' salaries), which they then sell for about 90 cents on the dollar to businesses in the state with a tax liability. In other words, for every million dollars spent, film companies get back about $270,000, or the full $300,000 if they're based in Georgia, like Perry.
"What makes Georgia and Kentucky unique is that there is no cap [on the money spent or the rebate], and more expenditures qualify," said John Bails, the executive vice president of Film Production Capital, which brokers film-industry tax credits. "New York, for instance, doesn't reimburse for any 'above the line' costs, like star salaries. The incentive also has good political momentum in Georgia. All the corporations based there love it because they're getting a 10 percent discount on their taxes because of the film industry, so it's very popular."
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