La. film industry in court spotlight amid budget crunch
NEW ORLEANS - A tax credit program lauded for turning Louisiana into "Hollywood South" but lamented for its cost to a cash-strapped state government is at the center of a federal trial opening in New Orleans.
The defendants are two film industry executives and a New Orleans attorney accused of taking part in a scheme to bilk the state out of more than $1.1 million in film tax credits.
But, in a sense, the film credit program is on trial as well. The trial opens Monday, the same day the Louisiana Legislature's annual session begins down the highway in Baton Rouge. Among the issues at the session is whether to rein in a film tax credit program that cost the state $220 million last year.