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Tax rebate program could revitalize "Hollywood South" status

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BATON ROUGE - A new tax rebate program could revitalize the film industry in what was widely called "Hollywood South."

Production studios like Celtic in Baton Rouge were bustling in 2015.

That changed when state lawmakers, desperate to fund hospitals and colleges, made a money grab at Louisiana's film tax credits. In the end, the state did not reimburse film companies like it promised.

The state program is set to return to normal in a year and a half. There are signs the money will return.

Now, East Baton Rouge City Parish wants to sweeten the deal.

Councilman Ryan Heck wants to create a tax rebate, in which movie companies will get back some of the money they spend in parish sales taxes.

Before the state program changed in 2015, movie companies spent $170 million in Baton Rouge. Local filmmakers hope that business will return.

There's no known cost for the rebate program yet, but unless cameras are rolling in baton rouge, no money is being pumped into the local economy.


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