Opinion: State’s film tax credit needs tweaks but not tossing

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The reality is, the influx of movie and television production work and the billions generated by its presence in the state have spurred new career paths and business opportunities that did not exist a decade ago. We need to build on that reality, not endanger it by overreacting to what should be remediable tax collection problems.

Among the many other tasks on their legislative agenda, state lawmakers during this year’s session of the General Assembly will need to tighten controls on the tax credit program for Georgia’s booming movie and television industry.

Results of a state audit released earlier this month show widespread evidence of abuse within the program, meaning that taxes were not collected in some instances where they should have been, and the state suffered a revenue loss as a result.

Much attention has been paid to the audit, which found the state has lost millions due to improper application of the tax credits, though an exact dollar figure has not been applied to the potential losses.

So, obviously, the program needs cleaning up, with more controls, oversight and accountability.

But it’s important not to go overboard in rectifying the situation. Let’s not, as Sen. Butch Miller so adroitly said, “throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

See more opinion from the Gainesville Times editorial board.

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