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Louisiana’s Reign As “Hollywood South” May Be Going South

The Louisiana Legislature’s 2017 regular session opened yesterday in Baton Rouge with Governor Bel Edwards urging Democrats and Republicans to work together to fix the state’s well-documented budget woes.

As a Democratic governor in a predominantly Republican state, that’s like being a man swimming alone amidst a sea of sharks saying, “Please, don’t eat me.”  But, something has to be done.  Our roads are crumbling, our schools are failing–our infrastructure is breaking down.

One solution may be to axe Louisiana’s film tax credits program.  LSU economist Dr. Loren Scott has released a third study that shows how much it is costing the state. According to the study, the program’s price tag is about $220 million per year, and has a return on investment of only 22%.

But here’s the rub–the program creates somewhere around 14,000 jobs in Louisiana; so, dumping the plan would cause hardship for a number of our citizens.

Even though the film tax credits program was cut back significantly in 2015, it still subsidizes about 30% to 35% of the cost of making a film, according to Scott’s study. And with just a 22% ROI for the state, it’s a great deal for filmmakers, but maybe not so much for Louisiana.

 

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