Pinewood Studios’ tax bill begins upward rise

Pinewood Studios’ tax bill begins upward rise

The movie industry in Fayetteville continues to grow with the success of Pinewood Atlanta Studios. In 2012 the tax bill on the 288 acres that would become the studio was just under $10,000. Pinewood Atlanta Studios for 2017 will pay a total of $318,965 in taxes.

Pinewood Atlanta, by virtue of a 20-year leasehold agreement with the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA), committed to a tax rate that grows incrementally by 5 percent each year until 100 percent of property taxes are paid each year.

The industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) issued FCDA totaling $52 million for the Pinewood Atlanta development on the 288-acre property on Veterans Parkway and the adjacent Rivers Elementary School property, known now as the Pinewood Production Centre, were issued in December 2013.

The first property tax bill for the 288-acre Pinewood Atlanta Studios property and the Pinewood Production Centre property came in 2014. That initial year required the payment of taxes equivalent to 5 percent of the value, followed by 10 percent in 2015, 15 percent in 2016 and 20 percent for 2017.

While some in the community were vocal about the lack of taxes being paid at both sites when the project began, a review of tax bills provided by the Fayette County Tax Commissioner’s office tells a different tale.

What was $9,672.72 in taxes in 2012 became:

• $20,636.82 in 2014 at 5 percent

• $57,238.26 in 2015 at 10 percent

• $139,357.40 in 2016 at 15 percent

• $265,034.19 in 2017 at 20 percent

Taxes on the 26-acre production centre property showed:

• $3,277.21 in 2014 at 5 percent

• $11,763.70 in 2015 at 10 percent

• $16,452.51 in 2016 at 15 percent

• $26,754.22 in 2017 at 20 percent

It should be noted that, while initially owned by the Fayette County School System, there were no taxes paid on the former Rivers Elementary School since the school board levies, but does not pay, property taxes.

In terms of taxes on personal property, Pinewood Atlanta Studios will also pay $27,177.98 on personal property with a net assessed value of $908,993.

Not included in the IRB is the 234-acre Pinewood Forrest property on Veterans Parkway across from the studio known as Pinewood Forrest. Construction of the first homes began this summer.