Monday, March 2, 2009

Study: Film industry adds $763M to state during 2007

By Alexandyr Kent
March 2, 2009 4:35 pm

In an economic impact study released Monday, the motion picture industry is estimated to have added $763 million to the Louisiana economy during 2007 at a cost of $105 million to the state.

The 96-page study was authored by Economics Research Associates for Louisiana Economic Development Department. The Chicago-based consulting firm examined the impact of the state’s tax incentive programs for the motion picture, music and digital media industries.

Here are a few highlights for the motion picture industry:
The state attracted 135 movie and TV projects between 2002 and 2007 that qualified for state tax credits. In 2008 alone, the number of projects was 80.

In-state production and post-production expenses have increased steadily from year to year. In 2005, projects spent $238.6 million directly in Louisiana. In 2007, the number was $429.2 million.

During 2007, an average movie and TV project spent an average of $5.9 million in Louisiana (on in-state expenditures). In 2002, the number was $4 million. In 2005, the number was $6.6 million.

Between 2001 and 2007, employment in the state’s motion picture industry grew 22 percent annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2007, the motion picture industry directly employed 3,310 workers in Louisiana. An additional 2,920 jobs were supported indirectly, for a total of 6,230 jobs which earned $203.7 million in wages. The average salary among all these jobs was about $32,700.

Wages within the state’s motion picture increased 8.2 per percent per year between 2001 and 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The State of Louisiana will issue an estimated $115.1 million in tax credits for productions made in 2007 and recoup $14.6 million in state taxes as a direct result of these projects. The incentive program amounts to cost, or loss, of $100.5 million for the State of Louisiana.

In calculating the impact of the motion picture industry on the state’s economy, the report noted that $429.2 million of direct in-state spending for 2007 ultimately amounted to $763 million of economic benefit to Louisiana, when things like rents, royalties, profits, dividends, property taxes and various indirect benefits are factored in. That means that $6.64 of new spending, or economic stimulus, was generated for every $1 in tax credits issued by the state.

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