The Louisiana Film and Entertainment Association supports proposed changes to the state’s film tax credit program. A Senate-approved measure would place a front-end cap on the program, as opposed to the back-end cap enacted in 2015. LFEA president Robert Vosbein says the bill also reserves 10% of the available credits for Louisiana filmmakers.
“We want our young people to stay here. So to have that extra incentive for the indigenous filmmaker is a great asset that we think will really help us develop the program,” Vosbein said.
Vosbein hopes this will bring back some of the filmmakers who left for other states because of the uncertainty surrounding the program. The measure would sunset the program after 8 years if the industry can’t prove its value. But he says industry leaders aren’t worried.
“We think that over that period of time we’ll be able to build the infrastructure and build the indigenous crew base and that we’ll be able to show the legislature at that time the program is worth keeping,” Vosbein said.
Vosbein says this bill is a collaborative effort among the film industry, lawmakers, and Louisiana Economic Development to fix what was broken two years ago. He says there’s even incentives to get producers outside of the Big Easy.
“There’s a bonus, if you will, for productions that are outside of New Orleans. We’re trying to spread that around geographically in the state,” Vosbein said.
The bill was approved 33-3 in the Senate. Its next hearing will be in the House Ways and Means Committee.