Editor’s Note: Florida has been fuming over Ben Affleck’s Live by Night film being shot in Georgia. We have published several articles about it. Here’s one last piece that focuses squarely on tax incentives.
In theaters now, Live by Night, a crime thriller adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, sees actor Ben Affleck taking on the role of a Boston gangster sent to Florida’s own Ybor City to manage bootlegging operations during Prohibition. But when it came time to film, Affleck, who also wrote, directed and produced Live by Night, opted to construct a new Ybor City in Georgia instead of heading 30 miles south to the real thing, citing largely economic reasons and the lack of film incentives in Florida. SRQ sat down with Jeanne Corcoran, director of the Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office, to talk film incentives and why Sarasotans should care.
How do these tax rebates, or film incentives, work and why is Georgia looking more attractive right now? Corcoran: An incentive works differently in different states, but basically refunds back a specific portion of spending in that state. Sometimes that refund is in the form of a check, sometimes in the form of tax credits, which then have to be brokered and sold within a state against tax debt a company may owe, sometimes a combination of those things. It is now often a mandatory element that productions require to be in place before they will even consider filming in certain states or regions, countries or nations. The many competing countries, states, regions or other locales, who seriously want filming and the millions of dollars a year in direct spending it can represent, must use incentives to remain in consideration, to be compared to their competitors.
See the rest at SRQ.