Louisiana Budget Project’s analysis, released Tuesday, found that the state spent $231 million on film subsidies last year — a 29 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
Critics of the state's film tax credit program say the spending is especially troubling in an environment of severe budget cuts to higher education and health care.
“People are getting rich on this deal, and it isn’t Louisiana taxpayers,” LBP Director Jan Moller said in a press release announcing the findings of the analysis. “Louisiana needs to limit the cost to taxpayers without pulling the rug out from under the industry.”
Louisiana’s film tax credit program is one of the nation’s costliest, the report notes, with the state spending more than $1 billion over the past decade to bring in film productions. While these subsidies have helped create some jobs, they are mostly temporary and come at a steep cost to taxpayers, according to LBP, which maintains that each direct job in the film industry is subsidized to the tune of more than $60,000.
There appears to be a growing consensus that the program should be re-evaluated, even though there is some discrepancy among those who have done cost-benefit analyses.
A 2011 report, “Fiscal & Economic Impact Analysis of Louisiana’s Entertainment Incentives,” prepared by BaxStarr Consulting Group in conjunction with the Louisiana Economic Development Office of Entertainment Industry Development and the Legislative Fiscal Office, also found a negative fiscal impact of the program. For example, estimated 2010 motion picture production generated $27 million in state tax revenue (plus $17.3 million local tax revenue) but certified $196.8 million in tax credits. That's a net negative fiscal impact to the state of $169.8 million. Read the 2011 report here.
LBP suggests ways the Legislature could improve the program, recommending that Louisiana follow the lead of several other states that have recently capped their film credit programs or limited the amount of money appropriated. “If Louisiana follows suit, it will provide fiscal constraints and greater certainty in the annual budgeting process, all while increasing transparency,” LBP writes.
“Rather than eliminating the subsidies, legislators should phase down the amount of the tax credit over a number of years to give the film industry time to stand on its own with less public support,” Moller said in the release.
Baton Rouge-based LBP provides independent research and analysis of Louisiana fiscal issues and their impact on low and moderate income residents.
For a copy of the full report, “Louisiana Film Tax Credits: Costly Giveaways to Hollywood,” click here.
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
The struggle for control of the regional flood authority board and its lawsuit against oil and gas companies for wetlands damage has taken an unexpected turn.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier agreed several weeks ago to change the compensation formula for any future payments, but he ruled Wednesday that a deal is a deal when it comes to money BP has already paid out.
IberiaBank has already retrofitted many of the Teche Federal Bank locations it acquired in a buyout earlier this year, but some residuals from the estimated $161 million deal are still playing out, namely a federal lawsuit alleging the theft of sensitive information by two former Teche executives.
Both join Russo as brand developers.
Targets of an investigation of alleged corruption within the settlement program for compensating victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be in federal court Tuesday.
Excitement over Bell Helicopter’s 505 Jet Ranger X is growing, as is the international demand for the state-of-the-art chopper, which will soon be manufactured at the company’s first-ever Louisiana assembly facility in Lafayette.
The Louisiana Hospital Association, Louisiana Nursing Home Association, Louisiana Pharmacists Association, ambulance providers and intermediate care facilities are pooling their resources and planning for a statewide media buy to promote the passage of the first two constitutional amendments on the November ballot.
New report also reveals negative results of Medicaid cuts.
The Pentagon says two Louisiana companies have Navy contracts worth a total of $26.8 million.
Newcomer to Top 50 among five companies selected for Naval contract
Both sets of figures — adjusted to cancel out seasonal changes — were released by the U.S. Labor Department.
Texas declined by five rigs, West Virginia dropped three and Louisiana was down two.
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has upheld a federal safety board's right to investigate the role of Transocean Deepwater Drilling Corp. in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
A supporter of a lawsuit against the oil industry has been re-nominated to a seat on a south Louisiana flood control board despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The nominating committee for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East was set Thursday to nominate applicants for two people on the board whose terms have expired.
Restaurant could see ‘a little facelift,’ Bobby Butcher tells Daily Report.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says he won't approve a Cameron Parish Police Jury resolution to hire outside attorneys for such a lawsuit until the resolution is amended. Caldwell's Sept. 15 letter says the resolution must make clear that those attorneys will represent the parish alone — not the state.
Michelle D. Lavergne, who worked for the Lafayette law office of L. Clayton Burgess for 13 years, faces up to 10 years in prison.
Sonnier, former media buyer and account exec at Sides, joins Acadian companies as marketing specialist; Maggard, who most recently worked for Potenza, joins Russo as director of media and PR.
New recreation/fitness trend taking over old Crazy Charlie’s on Ambassador Caffery Parkway.
Authorities said that a Chevron Corp. subsidiary was still releasing natural gas Sunday from a pipeline off the Louisiana coast where a Saturday incident killed a maintenance worker.
Meet the WWMB Class of 2014, extraordinary women guiding our exceptional community