House approves $200 million cap on film tax credits
Posted on 5/7/2015 5:39:00 PM.
Michelle Southern reporting.
The House approved a measure that would limit the amount of credits issued as part of the film tax program to $200 million dollars despite objections from lawmakers who thought the cap should be lower. 

 Alexandria Representative Lance Harris tried to amend it to $150 million dollars saying that other $50 million needs to be used elsewhere.
"Think about this $50 million dollars I'm talking about when you go home and tell everybody that we had to close our historical structures and couldn't keep our museums open," said Harris.

There is currently no cap on the program and the state is issuing $226 million dollars in credits this year. 

Harris doesn't think the lower cap is too much to ask of an industry that's been thriving here since 2002 when there are so many other areas of the state that are struggling.

"The bottom line is that we're closing 10 historical sites and can't even keep museums open but two hours a day," said Harris.

The tax credit scale back measures approved by the House Thursday now head to the Senate. 

New Orleans Representative Jeff Arnold also opposed the amendment saying that it could lead to the state losing valuable business.

"If we lower the credit to $150 million, we're going to run them out of town and once again we're going to get off the top of a good list," said Arnold.

Metairie Representative Joe Lopinto says cutting the program this extra $50 million dollars is too much and would make Louisiana less competitive. 

He says they don't want to risk the movie industry leaving the state and taking the jobs with it.

"We have to decide what industries we want our people when they graduate to get out," said Lopinto. "I think this one has been successful for Louisiana."

film tax credits, joe lopinto, lance harris, jeff arnold

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