Officials with Louisiana’s movie industry are excited Governor Edwards has called on Louisiana Economic Development to conduct an extensive review of the state’s film tax credit program. Executive Director of the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association, Robert Vosbein, says the governor wants to make the program work for both the state and Hollywood producers.
“His goal is to strengthen the movie industry and to chart out a long-term plan for the incentive program,” Vosbein said.
Between 2008 and 2015, over 11-hundred productions were filmed in Hollywood South, but the state has also given away $1.4 billion in tax credits in the past 8 years, which is why legislators capped the program at $180 million last year. Vosbein says putting a cap on the program hurt the industry.
“We’ve seen it now transform into virtually not even half of what we had before, not even two-thirds of what we had before,” Vosbein said.
About 36 other states have similar tax incentives, which means producers have other options for filming destinations. Vosbein says we need those movie makers to come back to Louisiana because it benefits the economy and local businesses.
“Small businesses are coming and saying the film program leaving has cost us our business. The film industry supports over 13,000 jobs, both direct and indirect,” Vosbein said.