Written by on Aug 8, 2012. Posted in Incentive News

Report criticises economics of Louisiana location filming incentives

A new report has criticised Louisiana’s filming incentives, calling for payment caps and questioning how much the programme benefits locals. Louisiana is one of the production hubs in the US – along with California and New York – partly as a result of its 30% filming tax incentive.

Published by the Louisiana Budget Project, the study argues that the state spends far more on incentive payouts than it gets back in production investment (from shoots like Django Unchained, left). It says the tax credits benefit the wrong people and should be phased down over time.

Tim Mathis authored the study: “Unfortunately the returns to the state on this investment, like many of the movies made here, have been a flop. While the subsidies have helped create film industry jobs that weren’t here before, many of these positions are temporary and have come at a steep cost to the taxpayer.”

The study is the latest development in the ongoing filming incentives controversy in the US. Its figures focus specifically on the tax revenue Louisiana has made from film production in recent years, which is arguably only one small part of the bigger picture.

Unfortunately the returns to the state on this investment, like many of the movies made here, have been a flop.

Tim Mathis, Louisiana Budget Project

Earlier this year accountancy giant Ernst & Young concluded that the benefits of filming incentives “extend beyond the production activities themselves”, but, controversially, Mathis dismisses this idea as insignificant.

Louisiana is enjoying massive production success in terms of the number and scale of projects it’s attracting. But there’s still enough ambiguity in the economics to fuel arguments on both sides of the incentives debate.


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