Jindal Signs Tax Credit Bill at Stuller

The Lafayette-based jewelry manufacturer is one of hundreds of companies using the state credit for innovation.

Gov. Bobby Jindal was in Lafayette in early July, joining Stuller Inc. Chairman Matt Stuller at the company’s Lafayette headquarters, to sign SB 135 by Sen. Dan Claitor into law. Part of the governor’s 2011 legislative package, the measure extends Louisiana’s Research and Development Tax Credit for another six years.

Jindal noted that the state’s R&D tax credit has spurred growth at more than 200 companies in the past three fiscal years alone.

“Research and development work is the lifeblood of innovative companies,” the governor said. “By extending Louisiana’s R&D Tax Credit through 2019, we’re sending a signal that we want to encourage companies to spend more on innovation and to find new ways to be more competitive in the marketplace. By focusing as a state on research and development, we’re helping to create a new generation of jobs and greater opportunity for Louisiana’s economy.”

Louisiana converted its R&D incentive from a transferable tax credit to a refundable one in 2009, allowing companies more flexibility in obtaining a refund. Since that change, the number of applicants for the credit has increased significantly.

Stuller, which employs 1,200 people at its Lafayette headquarters, used the incentive for advanced manufacturing research and development. The company applied credits to more than $6 million in qualified R&D spending over a recent two-year period.

“Louisiana’s manufacturing R&D tax credits make Stuller much more competitive as we vie in the global jewelry market with innovative and revolutionary technologies,” said founder Matt Stuller.

The research and development credits passed in the Legislature will work to continue the progress made in innovation around the state, according to Claitor. “By growing and cultivating the industries of the future, we’re working to make sure Louisiana is a part of the growth that accompanies the successes of research and development companies, which benefits all of us,” he said.

Larger companies like Stuller Inc. can qualify for an 8 percent tax credit, while smaller companies (50 to 100 employees) can qualify for 20 percent tax credits and still smaller, emerging R&D firms can obtain a tax credit of up to 40 percent.

The approximately 200 companies that have utilized the R&D tax credit in the past three fiscal years have obtained credits valued at $30.6 million, which spurred R&D spending in the state of $483.4 million. Since 2007, the R&D tax credit has supported more than 5,000 jobs in Louisiana, according to Louisiana Economic Development. For every $1 issued in tax credits, some $34 in overall economic output is generated in the state, LED estimates.

To learn more about Louisiana’s Research and Development Tax Credit, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com and click on state business incentives.

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