Governor proposes tax credit extension
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal promises not to raise taxes but he hopes to extend them.
Wednesday the governor announced extensions to tax incentives he says will brings jobs to Louisiana. The Governor proposes the expansion of four tax credits: the quality of jobs program, which encourages businesses to move here. Another which promotes research and development, a third for technology commercialization, and lastly a tax incentive for digital interactive media.
One Baton Rouge business, the Coca Cola Bottling Company, is an example of the impact of some of the incentives.
"We quickly realized that Louisiana and Baton Rouge specifically was where we wanted this new facility to be built," said Regional Gulf Coast President Darian Chustz.
In May 2008, the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola bottling company expanded its production into a new warehouse, promising to create jobs.
"We've created about 80 new jobs; our goal is to create about 113," said Chustz.
Since then because of the incentive they can receive rebates equal to six percent of payroll. The company now has 550 employees with the average salary of $45,000, which increases those rebates.
The governor credits the tax incentives to attract investors and businesses to re-locate to Louisiana.
"They help us to attract software, bio-tech, high tech companies that attract high paying jobs to our state," said Jindal.
Coca-Cola in Baton Rouge is the most advanced of the company's North America system. It produces as much as 150-thousand cases of product daily, all made possible by tax incentives.
"We believe that things go better with Coke and Louisiana economic development," said Chustz.
Many of the tax incentives aren't expiring till the end of the year. The governor said it's especially important to get them passed this session.
"This is a fiscal session, every other year we have a fiscal session and it is important for us to take care of these tax credits during the fiscal sessions as was intended by the legislature," said Jindal.
If the credits are extended they'll last another six years.