Louisiana Economic Development: Film Tax Credits – Short Term Fixes for Long Term Problems?
Louisiana economic development is easy – gave away the ranch and everyone will come running! But are these tax credits and other incentives really beneficial to the citizens of Louisiana or just another way to subsidize a few selected individuals?
It’s not unusual anymore to find Louisiana streets blocked as we have become known as “Hollywood South” for movies and filming. The state’s Economic Development Director Stephen Moret has created a give-a-way movie program that has Louisiana ranked 3rd in the nation. That’s the good news, the bad news is that the state is losing money on the deal!
Moret insists that the tax credits for the production of movies in Louisiana are a success. Their figures indicate the number gone from one in 2002 to an estimated 118 in 2010. These numbers have continued to increase and the state’s investment in 2012 exceeded $231 million. In a recent article by the Louisiana Budget Project, they found these tax credits, while beneficial to many wealthy individuals, had an overall negative impact on the Louisiana economy.
In our recent legislative session we all saw the cuts to education, healthcare, and other things with the potential to enhance long-term economic growth. These film tax-credits, while generating great PR for Moret and Governor Jindal, do little to improve the economy for Louisiana.
Perhaps when Governor Jindal finally rides off to his next gig, he will take Stephen Moret and his $320,000 salary. Until then, we can expect Moret to continue to give away our hard earned state tax dollars. Remember, together, one vote at a time, we can stop this stupidity.