Posted: Oct 18, 2012 4:46 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: Oct 18, 2012 4:46 PM
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana film industry is responsible for bringing recent movies like Pitch Perfect, Oblivion, and Battleship to the state.
The reason Louisiana is so attractive to movie makers? The state's tempting tax incentives, which some now want to put a cap on.
The 30 percent tax credit on all in-state expenses is offered to Louisiana-based productions organized under an LLC using local businesses and local workers. Right now, there's no limit to how many films can qualify for the credit, and proponents of a cap to the credit said the state would be able to accurately guage what they spend on films every year.
The director of the Louisiana Budget Project, Jan Moller, says while the state has been cutting money from health care and education, it's also been spending more to subsidize the film industry.
"It's a question of priorities and we think it's probably time to start reigning in the cost of these subsidies," said Moller. "The question is not whether we want the film industry here, the real question is what are we willing to pay to bring them here?"
Louisiana production companies disagree, and say without the tax incentive they wouldn't exist.
"Without the incentive, it doesn't make sense to keep building the industry here," said Active Entertainment Producer Daniel Lewis. "It doesn't make sense to keep investing dollars here because there's a lot of uncertainty."
Companies like Active Entertainment use the tax credit to hire and train crew, fly people across the country and buy supplies.
In recent years, nine states have capped or gotten rid of their film tax credit program. The state legislature will discuss the film tax credit cap when they meet next spring.