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Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

It's funny that there's such a boosterish response to an obviously skeptical article--very Atlanta. Tax breaks tend to attract low end, non-value added businesses in all sectors. The non-transparency from the state should be the first clue that this is not working out as well as anyone would guess. A libertarian economist questioning the whole business should be another. The media business is cyclical and probably provides sustained employment for a relatively small number of people. Georgia is competing with other bottom feeding states, not with Hollywood or New York, and probably not with Toronto or Vancouver which can mimic more kinds of places and have deeper creative sectors. Gay marriage will make it easy for all the bottom feeding states to be boycotted and for Canada (where there are actual medical benefits) to reap the benefits.

Atlanta is an odd place in that it long has had a large number of serious film fans, but has never grown a first rate film festival. The outfit that curates a number of local festivals purposely seeks out future cable and Landmark Cinema fare rather than playing to audience strength. That's not the kind of community that can hold onto creative types. The notion that an opportunistic, quick buck (i.e., stereotypical Atlanta) approach to film making will result in something more than a string of Tyler Perry vehicles is the kind of thinking that makes it easy to shake one's head at the talk from boosters.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rich Jenkins on 07/14/2013 at 8:57 AM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

Great Article. Well done.

It is remarkable how quickly the industry has exploded here.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Atlately on 07/12/2013 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

It's a no brainer, of course it's been a huge success. Ask anyone who has benefited from it!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Crocker on 07/12/2013 at 8:53 PM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

"There is nearly no mathematical way that the state can make back the 30% or the $300 they paid for one person to have a $1,000 paying job."

You are the one not getting it. The state didn't "pay" anything to anyone. They do not write a check to anyone or spend any money, they forgo tax revenue that they WOULDN'T HAVE COLLECTED IN THE FIRST PLACE. If even a dime flows back to the state, they come out ahead. Also, meanwhile, people have work, merchants sell stuff, hotels book rooms.

In order for what you are saying, nevergonnagetit, to make sense, you have to believe that all money belongs to the government and they don't collect taxes, they disburse people's share of the government's money.

5 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by oydave on 07/12/2013 at 5:43 PM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

It's true, some people do have a hard time with math. For instance take the 30% on labor part of the incentive. This is take from a gross earnings number. That means if an employee makes $1,000 the film company will earn $300 in credits for having paid that individual. The employee will never have that $1,000 in their pocket to spend however because it was a gross number, they will take home only about $600.

State sales tax is only 4% and the income tax is bracketed from 1% to 6%. So lets start back over at $1,000, the state will make at most only 6% for that employee to have been paid, or $60. And even if that individual spent all the money they made gross would only recoup 4% in sales tax, or $40. But since they don't take home the entire $1,000 they made in gross, they will only have about $600 to spend, so the state can only make 4% off that if they even spend it all. So at best the state will have taken in $100 total in income and sales tax for the $300 they spent for one person to make $1,000. In reality the amount they take in is more like $84 because the net amount the employee actually has to spend in take home money, but again, if they spend all the money they take home.

There is nearly no mathematical way that the state can make back the 30% or the $300 they paid for one person to have a $1,000 paying job. This doesn't take into account big expenditures the productions make the 30% on such as one actors salary, or all the other out of town people who come to work that make huge amounts then leave the state and go spend their money elsewhere. This is where Louisianan lost money and had to rewrite their incentives about 5 years ago.

If you believe in trickle down economics then perhaps you can support this idea that if someone spends a dollar someone else will have a dollar to spend. However since every time a dollar is spent is shrinks, it seems like a loosing proposition.

7 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Nevergonnagetit on 07/12/2013 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

70% of something > 100% of nothing. That's right, its simple math. I'll put it another way. If a film shoots in Louisiana and say they owe $100,000 in taxes how much of that money will go to Georgia? None right? Now if that same film decides to shoot in Georgia because of Georgia's tax incentives and owes the same $100,000 dollars, after the 30% tax credit how much will Georgia see in taxes? That's right, $70,000. Very good. So, by the film shooting here georgia receives $70,000 in tax revenue that it would not have received were it not for the tax credit. 70% of something > 100% of nothing.

I can't fathom how this is so hard for some supposedly educated people to grasp. And to print things like "the revenue the state's giving away" is completely irresponsible and mis-leading. The state isn't writing checks or handing out cash to productions. But of course you know that.

Oh, and how about this one? "more than $200 million it's passed up over the last three years — cash that could potentially pay for education, transportation, and better social services" So, you want to focus on the 30% or $200 million the state didn't get but choose to ignore the other 70% it did get "that could potentially pay for education, transportation, and better social services". That's 70% that it would not have received if it were not for the tax incentives.

So good job exposing how Georgia is giving away millions of dollars to hollywood producers. With stellar reporting such as this it is shocking that you're still writing for Creative Loafing and not Time.

9 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by so disappointed on 07/12/2013 at 2:08 AM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

Yep. They live and breathe dollars.

The program is a big success and I hope the good ol' boys at the gold dome keep it going. I'm not crazy about the way they are selling the credits to other industries, but, hey, you play the game the way the rules are written. And it's got to be a net plus to the tax coffers with all the tangential business activity, everything from flats of bottled water to income taxes on overpaid underlings. I've been huffing and puffing for years trying to make a go of it and, all of a sudden, I'm running into stars in the elevator.

And how 'bout you Ric Reitz! I didn't know you were in on this. Way to go! Remember that week with Ruth Buzzi?

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by oydave on 07/11/2013 at 10:47 PM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

Great article, this is the kind of interesting under reported topics that I come here for but see less and less. If the infrastructure for the industry wasn't as significant as it is becoming, maybe you could question whether this is worth it but with the significant development being invested in you have to concede that this appears to be working. When employment is still all too hard to find, anything that creates legit jobs is worth a shot. Think of all the side businesses that are popping up that do not get film credits. They pay taxes. All of the various workers pay taxes. All of that income is then spent and there are plenty of associated taxes that come along with that. Hotel taxes from the significant out of towners that come in to work here is another benefit. It's never black and white but you can at least tangibly see some results. I'm pretty sure that we would not have to look very hard to find some bullsh*t pork project that the government spent way more on than the film credits with jack sh*t to show for it.

If Mark from Atlanta thinks movie studios give a crap about gay marriage over $$$'s he is in for a rude awakening.

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Posted by jonnymack1 on 07/11/2013 at 8:50 AM

Re: “Georgia's blank check to Hollywood

"In January, Mayor Kasim Reed told the Atlanta Press Club he believed that by 2015, Atlanta would be mentioned with Los Angeles and New York City as one of the top-three American filmmaking cities."

Sorry to burst your bubble Kasim, but with the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage the battle becomes state by state. That means boycotts of GA and other fundamentalist states while NY and CA benefit.

9 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Mark from Atlanta on 07/11/2013 at 6:52 AM

Re: “This Is The End

I knew going in the film would be sophomoric and silly, but I went anyway. James Franco is a pretty good actor and Seth Rogen has proved himself in Freaks & Geeks and 50/50 so I thought this film had a shot at being interesting. It's OK, but not great. There is a certain amount of amusement in famous Hollywood people playing themselves and making fun of themselves or the personna they've developed, but the movie misses. The elements are there, but it didn't come through in the script or the execution. Yes there are a few laughs and a few surprises and every member of current Hollywood royalty has a role or a cameo appearance; but wait for cable. Other than a few imaginative moments, I was bored. The last 15 minutes make the film worth viewing - but on the small screen.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by richardk on 06/15/2013 at 4:44 PM

Re: “Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children hits theatres

I can see Rushdie's stuff adapting well. Lots of plot to play with.

Posted by Jenna Humphrey on 05/18/2013 at 3:09 PM

Re: “It's bigger than 'Love and Hip Hop'

which one is "new york" and which one is "hoopz"?

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Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 04/12/2013 at 2:35 PM

Re: “The ATL Twins are Spring Breakers forever

"already assumed chalky"

english, motherfucker! do you speak it?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 04/12/2013 at 12:33 PM

Re: “Stylish Trance leaves viewers less than spellbound


Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 04/12/2013 at 12:31 PM

Re: “Stylish Trance leaves viewers less than spellbound

Only reason to see is this movie is that Rosario Dawson is completely naked.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by indiscretion on 04/11/2013 at 11:47 AM

Re: “It's bigger than 'Love and Hip Hop'

"So why, in the midst of breaking so much ground, is Scott-Young reviled among so many women of color?"

It's very interesting to watch the popularity of her shows in that for as much as there people complaining about the content, there are millions are viewers tuning in, talking about her "characters" as if the know them throughout social media. There must be something good about this since the numbers are there, right? Honestly the 'drama' of her shows are no different than any other reality show--White or Black. However, I do think it points to this DESIRE for more diversity on TV, more about life from the African American perspective.

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Posted by Just Lakeshia on 04/10/2013 at 1:19 PM

Re: “It's bigger than 'Love and Hip Hop'

These shows are so tacky.

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Posted by chillax on 04/09/2013 at 1:24 PM

Re: “It's bigger than 'Love and Hip Hop'

It's funny to hear this lady defend her product. She knows and well all know how much scum it is. But she didn't start the scum party so she figures why not get it while the gettin is good like most everyone else.

Can't blame her I guess. People tune in.

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Posted by The Gorgeous JR on 04/09/2013 at 11:41 AM

Re: “The ATL Twins are Spring Breakers forever

already assumed Chalky

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Posted by BlackSnakeBonedYourMom on 03/31/2013 at 12:58 AM

Re: “The ATL Twins are Spring Breakers forever

do u actually know any? the feeling is probably mutual.

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Posted by wesleywhatwhat on 03/29/2013 at 5:12 PM

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