Deal signs special tax breaks into Georgia law, more to come

Gov. Nathan Deal signed one measure into law Tuesday that expands tax credits for the gaming and film industries and another to help pay for renovations at the Woodruff Art Center.

House Bill 199, the tax credits for video-gaming and post-production companies, which do things such as editing, will save the businesses and cost the state about $82.5 million over the next five years, according to an analysis by the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute.

Deal also signed House Bill 265, which would exempt from sales and local sales taxes building materials used for renovating or expanding performing arts venues under certain conditions. It is designed to help with the renovation of the Alliance Theater at the Woodruff Art Center.

HB 265 also expands a tax credit for creating certain jobs. The institute estimates the full cost of the legislation at about $8.5 million over the next five years.

Deal has yet to act on several other, more highly publicized tax breaks, including one designed to promote a repair business for giant yachts, a rewrite of a plan approved last year to provide tax credits for Georgians who donate to struggling rural hospitalsa measure to reduce taxes on people and companies that lease vehicles, and a $60 million tax credit program for companies that invest in rural Georgia businesses.

The last one, Senate Bill 133, was approved in the final hours of the 2017 session and was called a “bad investment scheme” by opponents.

Combined, the institute said the special tax breaks approved by the General Assembly this session will cost $483 million over the next five years.

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