That animated peach seen more and more often at the end of film and television credits represents more than the production being filmed in Georgia — it represents billions of dollars the industry has spent in the state.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that a record $2.7 billion was spent in Georgia by film and television production companies during the 2017 fiscal year. “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” are just a few of the 320 productions shot in the state over the past year, up from 245 productions in 2016.
The money goes to camera, lighting and audio equipment, catering, post-production accounting services and more.
The latest figure was up about one-third from the $2 billion spent in fiscal 2016, and it’s more than 38 times what was spent here in 2007, according to state figures.
Georgia’s tax credit program has attracted production companies to the state, and led it to top the list of popular domestic filming locations. The program provided $925 million in incentives to production companies from 2009 to 2014, the most given to any industry, according to a study by Georgia State University.
By meeting certain standards, the production companies can earn tax credits up to 30 percent of what they spend in the state. And what they can’t use to defer their own taxes, since many of the companies are not based in Georgia and have little tax liability, they can sell to other taxpayers for cash at upward of 90 cents on the dollar.
The GSU study estimates the tax credit program will cost $376 million this year.
Pat Wilson, Georgia’s top economic development official, said new businesses have migrated to Georgia to support the industry, including ones that don’t qualify for state incentives.
Deal’s office estimates that the $2.7 billion in film spending equates to a $9.5 billion boost to Georgia’s economy.
Georgia’s film infrastructure also expanded this year, adding Three Ring Studios in Covington to the list of production studios. It will accommodate larger productions with capacity for multiple film projects, according to the news release.