Peter Stathopoulos, Partner in Bennett Thrasher State & Local Tax practice and leader of the firm’s Entertainment practice, recently testified before the Georgia House Committee on Creative Arts and Entertainment that production in Georgia is currently booming due in part to the state being the first to reopen for production post-pandemic. Stathopoulos and others who testified pointed out that the entertainment industry has paved the way in demonstrating that businesses can reopen safely.
Stathopoulos is also the head of governmental affairs for the Georgia Production Partnership (GPP), the original entertainment coalition that worked with Georgia’s political leadership to create the state’s current entertainment incentive, which has driven Georgia’s success in the industry over the last decade. Stathopoulos states in his testimony that the goal of creating the Georgia tax credit was to create a sustainable, local entertainment industry, which is exactly what has happened. As a result of the tax credit, the entertainment industry is the fastest growing industry segment in Georgia.
Stathopoulos discussed the incredible diversity of Georgia’s entertainment industry, pointing out that the state has more women and people of color working in the industry than most other places in the country, and that is without any incentives. Additionally, he notes that students are flocking to Georgia’s universities because they want to get involved in the state’s entertainment industry, which extends past television and now includes the music, animation, e-sports, digital gaming and post-production industries.
Other participants in the testimony included Blackhall Studios, Lightning Rentals, Hertz, Motion Picture Association of America and Raulet Studios. Stathopoulos was the final speaker. A full recording of the hearing is available here.