Film industry leaders say they're watching Delta-NRA controversy closely

ATLANTA — A day after the Lieutenant Governor threatened to kill a tax bill benefiting Delta Airlines, it's still not clear what's next for the bill that also includes tax cuts for most Georgians.

On Film Industry Day in Georgia, leaders told Channel 2's Richard Elliot they are watching closely.

Everyone admits, the $10 billion industry wouldn’t be here if there weren’t tax breaks.

"Georgia is number one in feature films being produced and that’s number one in the world," said Georgia’s Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson.

Wilson is understandably proud of the state’s growing film industry, thanks to massive and multi-tiered tax incentives established ten years ago.


It’s grown from a $240 million industry to a $10 billion industry they say employs more than 90,000 people.

"Out of the top 100 grossing films last year, seventeen were actually made in Georgia," said Wilson.

But Monday, Cagle and other lawmakers signaled that they would hold up a proposed jet fuel tax break for Delta if the Atlanta-based air carrier didn’t reverse its decision to end discounts for NRA members, a move that angered conservatives around the country.

Ryan Mislap, who owns Blackhall Studios in DeKalb County, one of the largest studios in metro Atlanta, said he didn’t want to weigh in on the Delta-NRA controversy but did say the film industry wouldn’t be here without tax breaks. He believes the film industry is so big now, he’s not worried about losing them.

"I don’t have a lot of concern that tax credit being on the chopping block just because it’s paid for itself over and over and over again," he said.