Georgia governor Nathan Deal today signed a bill giving local game developers a $25 million tax break, according to House Bill 958, which was passed in the House and Senate.
Under the bill, "qualified interactive entertainment production" companies have to meet certain criteria in order to benefit from the tax break. The criteria includes maintaining a business location physically located in Georgia, having a total aggregate payroll of $500,000 or more for employees working in the state, having a gross income of less than $100 million for the taxable year and being primarily engaged in production activities related to interactive entertainment that have been approved by the Department of Economic Development. The full list of requirements can be read here.
A tax break is a sum deducted from the total amount a taxpayer owes to the state. Governor Deal signed a similar piece of legislation in 2012, allowing game developers in the region to keep state tax credits, which had led to the local entertainment industry increasing by "more than 1,000 percent."
The tax break for game developers is lumped together with a piece of legislation that includes campaign-friendly back-to-school sales tax holiday and a tax-free zone for energy efficient items.
The announcement of the tax break comes at the same time developer CCP announced the cancellation of World of Darkness and layoffs at its Atlanta, Georgia studio. Other studios located in Georgia include Tripwire Interactive, Hi-Rez Studios and Xaviant.