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$180 million tax incentive for the film industry passes through House, headed to Senate

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BATON ROUGE- After nearly two hours of debating, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed a tax incentive that hopes to keep films being made in Louisiana.

Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Film Commission, Katie Pryor, says the tax break brings productions, jobs and money to the state.

"Staying competitive in a global film market is very important and our incentives are one of the things that keeps us competitive. In addition to stage space, incredible crews, locations, it keeps Baton Rouge in the eye of everybody who wants to film," Pryor said.

If the bill passes through the senate and is signed by the governor, the state will continue to provide studios with incentives, totaling up to $180 million.

Not everyone is on board. State Rep. Richard Nelson considers it a waste of money. 

"$170 million on NCIS New Orleans. That's the entire budget of the NOPD. We spent $170 million pretending to fight crime," Nelson said.

State Rep. Mandie Landry took to the podium to stand with the bill.

"There's over $300 million in payroll taxes paid, about 10,000 jobs. I know so many people in the movie industry, they used to wait tables and now they have really steady jobs," Landry said.

If the measure goes through, it will provide tax breaks for another ten years.

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