Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Letter on Tax Incentives for the Entertainment Industry

(This is a letter I wrote to my state representatives about the incentives the state offers production companies to produce films and movies here. While it's not the type of letter others can just cut and paste, it is an example of how you can personalize a letter to get the attention of your representatives.)

Dear Sir,
I am writing in support of the continuance of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentive Act and the removal of the "sunset clause" from its provisions.

I moved to Georgia 18 months ago after losing my job as a store manager with Blockbuster Video. I have pursued other employment since arriving here but, with the current economic conditions, it has been difficult. During that time, the only work I have been able to attain has been as an extra in productions that have come to Georgia. So far, I've worked on a movie, a pilot and a regular TV series plus I'm currently waiting to hear about a job tomorrow. This is all since November, when I found out about the opportunities that are offered in Georgia through the entertainment field.

While the money that I've earned isn't enough to truly live on, the jobs I received have helped bolster my spirits and self-worth as I continue to search for steady employment.

While this story is personal, I'd like to point out the benefits the state-at-large gets with these productions:

* This will be the first year that I will pay Georgia state taxes. That is revenue that goes to the coffers of the state that would not be there if productions weren't drawn here with tax incentives.

* On set at the productions I've worked, I have seen a variety of local talents and businesses given opportunities to show their craft and provided needed services. Carpenters, caterers, production assistants, public relation experts - all working toward a common goal and creating revenue for the state.

I'd also ask that you repeal the "sunset clause" on this bill. In the time it's been implemented, it has more than proved itself useful as a tool to stimulate the state's economy and assist its citizens with work. The Georgia Entertainment Industry Incentive Act deserves to stay on the books.

I appreciate your time considering my thoughts on this important subject to our state. I look forward to seeing what action the state legislature takes on this measure during the budget proceedings.

Don Smith