The new law will go into effect July 1.
“All it’s doing is reducing the total net savings for production companies,” Hariton said. “Most states look to readjust incentive programs.”
These readjustments keep the incentive programs sustainable, according to Hariton.
Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple productions, according to the state’s website.
An additional 10 percent credit is given if the finished product includes a state promotional logo.
“I don’t think it’s a negative thing at all,” said Hariton of the removal of the sales tax exemption. “It shows interest is still growing.”
Hariton said production companies want to know a program like Georgia’s is stable enough to make a commitment.
“Everyone feels really comfortable that changes are being made for the stability and longevity of the program,” he said.
The film studio partner evidently thought the program was stable, as Atlanta Film Studios opened in February.
“I think Paulding is right on the cusp of really exploding in the entertainment industry,” he said.
Hariton said the film studio will hopefully make Paulding County a place where production companies film the entire, or most of, a feature film or television show, instead of just a few scenes.
Filming in the county for the duration of the piece creates an opportunity for more business in the county, according to Hariton.
“If a show comes and stays at the studio for a few months, it makes a big difference,” he said.
Currently, a production company is using the studio, though Hariton said he could not reveal any details.
The company began using the studio in April and will be there until late July or early August, Hariton said.
Hariton said he is currently marketing the studio for both feature films and television shows.
The studio is being shown frequently to potential users, and there has been much interest but no other contracts signed, according to Hariton.
“We have a lot of interest,” said Hariton. “Having the first client sparks a lot of interest.”
Hariton said the studio did have time reserved for both feature film and television productions.