Ga. House passes movie tax break

The House of Representatives voted today to expand tax breaks to movie makers, hoping to bring back Hollywood to Georgia.

Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, recalled the rebirth of Juliette, a near ghost town brought back to life for the 1991 movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

“Juliette had a population that had dropped to four people,” Stephens said. Today, the town is still small, but remains an active tourist attraction.

Stephens said Georgia has lost recent productions set in Georgia, such as the Ray Charles biopic "Ray" that was produced in Louisiana, because other Southern states offer larger incentives.

House Bill 1100 would give movie, TV and video game producers up to a 20 percent income tax credit on spending of at least $500,000, more than double the current 9 percent tax break. Companies that currently invest more than $30 million a year or more would not be eligible.

The bill would require a Georgia logo to be shown in the credits of the production.

The bill passed 157-0 and now goes to the Senate.