[Ric] Reitz is one of Hollywood’s new financiers. Just about every major movie filmed on location gets a tax incentive, and Reitz is part of an expanding web of brokers, tax attorneys, financial planners and consultants who help filmmakers exploit the patchwork of state programs to attract film and TV production.
In his case, he takes the tax credits given to Hollywood studios for location filming and sells them to wealthy Georgians looking to shave their tax bills — doctors, pro athletes, seafood suppliers, beer distributors and the like.
“I’ve got a giant state of people who are potential buyers,” he said. “It’s the funniest people who are hiding under stones.”
Although tax credits have been blamed for loss of production in California, they have been a boon for Hollywood’s financial consultants.
Burbank-based Entertainment Partners, a big payroll-services provider, says it has handled the transfer of more than $200 million in tax credits for 100-plus projects since 2011. Most of the buyers are Fortune 100 companies.
Entertainment Partners has doubled to more than 800 employees in the last eight years, opening offices in Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Utah and Alabama. Most of the employees work in Burbank, where a team of 18 workers advises companies on how to apply for, sell or monetize their credits. The company employed just one person to do that in 2006.
Shuck and jive, but make damn sure the middle class pays for your beneficence.