Louisiana’s film production competition comes mostly from Georgia, said the state’s top movie industry official in charge of attracting movie and television projects.
“But so far, for the most part we haven’t lost any projects to Georgia,” said Chris Stelly, interim director of the Louisiana Economic Development Office of Entertainment Industry Development, to the Press Club of Baton Rouge on Monday.
Like Louisiana, Georgia offers a slate of incentives to attract the movie, digital media and other creative economy type jobs.
Georgia offers 20 percent tax credits for production costs in the state.
And if the project uses an embedded animated Georgia logo in the production, it qualifies for another 10 percent credit, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development website.
Louisiana offers incentives of up to 35 percent toward instate qualified expenses if the film production uses Louisiana workers.
By 2009, nearly all states were offering some form of film incentive. However, state budget cutbacks forced many states either to scale back the programs or cancel them, according to a 2010 report by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group in Washington, D.C.
Louisiana is not set to cap or sunset its film incentive program, Stelly told the press club, if only because this move could send filmmakers packing to other states if they see Louisiana’s incentive window closing at some point in the near future, he added.
“Now that we’re seeing states like Michigan and New Mexico pull back on their programs, we’re really poised to pick up more productions,” Stelly said.