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Louisiana's Tax Credit Program to End in 4 Years? New Bill Aims to End Louisiana Film Industry

Louisiana state Legislature will begin to take steps next week on bills that will probably phase out Louisiana's tax credits, according to reports.

According to The Advocate, the Louisiana state legislature will start holding hearings about the state's the tax credit program, which is the most generous in the country.
the state Legislature will begin to take action next week on bills that would pare and perhaps even phase out tax subsidies that have cost taxpayers $1.3 billion over the past seven years while making Louisiana a more popular — and more financially rewarding — place to film movies than Hollywood. Next week’s legislative hearings will be only the first step in a lengthy process to determine the fate of Louisiana’s Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit, under which taxpayers cover 30 percent of a production’s local expenses. The tax credit program, among the most generous in the country, cost the state treasury $223 million in 2014, down from $251 million in 2013, but up dramatically from $114 million in 2008. Most of the movies and TV shows are filmed in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport.
As The Advocate pointed out, taxpayers in 2011 gave more money to the 'Green Lantern', they the gave to the University of New Orleans this year, which is shocking and appalling. A majority of the bills proposed will modestly cut the state's tax credit system but, it is hard to say how it will affect the state's film industry.
One would kill the program in four years, another would cap the program at $150 million per year and yet another would set a $300 million cap, which could actually mean an expansion in the program. Many of the measures would limit some of the expenses that the state now subsidizes, such as a star’s multimillion-dollar salary.
Independent economists argue that tax credits generate a poor return. This could mark the end of the Louisiana's film industry which could either boost Georgia's film industry or move the movies and TV shows back to the Hollywood hills. What do you think? Discuss this story with fellow Project Casting fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @projectcasting.