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Georgia Joins Frontier for Video Game Tax Incentives
Within the 40 days Governor Deal had to sign, veto or do nothing to bills passed by the Georgia Legislature, the Georgia people experienced an ephemeral sense of limbo. What would become law? What would not become law? Will this affect me? How will my life change?
Now, limbo is over!
Governor Deal signed hundreds of bills and resolutions. Some take effect immediately while others will wait to be implemented starting at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). One bill in particular seems to be a hot topic for most everyone in Georgia because ... it involves tax breaks!
Passed by the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate and then signed by the Governor, HB 958 will extend and create 5 tax breaks:
- Back-to-school sales tax holiday
- Energy-efficient sales tax
- Tax break for construction materials on projects with “regional significance”
- Food bank tax breaks
- Tax break for video game developers and companies
This last break will provide the gaming industry a 30% tax credit in order to grow the digital media industry in Georgia. It aims to keep video game developers and companies who excel in computer science in Georgia, rather than them migrating elsewhere.
This bill couldn’t have come at a better time. The booming gaming industry in Georgia continues to thrive. Atlanta in particular has one of the largest number of digital agency workers per capita, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
We are one of the first states to blatantly focus on increasing the incentives of the digital industry in order to prompt growth. It helps that Georgia has more than 15 colleges and universities (such as SCAD and Georgia Tech) with gaming programs — creating an epicenter of gaming enthusiasts. Rather than having these talented students move away after graduation to San Francisco or Seattle, this tax incentive aims to keep our computer science experts in Georgia.
Home to over 30 digital gaming companies, Georgia understands the importance of the gaming community.
About the Author
Bethany McDaniel is the Editorial Director for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.