Saturday, May 30, 2009

Senate panel OKs expanding movie tax credits by Mike Hasten

BATON ROUGE — A Senate committee has approved increasing the amount of tax credits available for filming movies in Louisiana despite a warning from an administration official.

The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee with a 7-3 vote approved SB245 by Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton. The bill increases the percentage of Louisiana expenditures that qualify for transferable tax credits from 25 percent to 30 percent.
The increase is estimated to cost the state another $20 million, which Cynthia Bridges, secretary of the state Department of Revenue and Taxation, cautioned "would require a corresponding reduction in expenditures." Bridges said there is money in the budget to renew the tax break at the current level.
Shreveport producer Lampton Enochs told the committee the increase is needed so the state can stay competitive. Georgia and Michigan have better credit offerings than Louisiana and are taking movies away from Louisiana.
He said he knows of "a film that was written for Shreveport, based in Shreveport and is being filmed in Atlanta" because Georgia offers 30 percent credits.
Last year, Louisiana had 20 films in production by this time but this year, there are only nine. By contract, Georgia, which had nine last year, now has 20.
Enochs said if the shift continues, the necessary staffing that has been building up in Louisiana could shift to Georgia and it would be "harder and harder for us to maintain the industry here."
Although the film industry is big business for Louisiana, the tax credits are actually a drain on state revenues, said Greg Albrecht, of the Legislative Fiscal Office. Last year, $100 million in credits were claimed and the state saw only $15 million in tax revenues.
Sherri McConnell, director of the state's entertainment office, acknowledged "the tax revenue break to the state is a negative" but it created about 6,000 jobs and brought large developments.
Adley summarized the conversation: "Other states have bumped it up. If we don't match it, they don't come here."
He said he was "a little surprised" because he was told that the state was getting $6 back for every $1 it invested.
"I never told the Legislature you'd get $6 back," Albrecht said. He said he participated in a study that found "there's $6 spending for every $1 you invested."
Few of the movie production companies cash in the credits because they don't spend that much in the state, Albrecht said. About $330 million was spent here and companies reported 6,000 "employment episodes" that he said can be short spurts of employment and one person could have several "episodes."
Instead, the movie companies sell the credits for a percentage of their worth to people or companies that owe taxes to the state and the purchasers get a break on taxes.
"The buyers of the paper are generally unrelated to the film industry," he said.
The bill is to be debated in the Senate.

By Mike Hasten • • May 27, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shreveport Mayor Signs Local Film Tax Rebate

Mayor Cedric Glover of Shreveport signed a new local law today that will hopefully bring new productions into the Shreveport area. The tax rebate is for movies and television productions that can be worth between $150,000 and $175,000 per project.

With the signing of the new rebate Millennium Films announced the filming of Straw Dogs which should start in July. Also Millennium announced the filming of The Mechanic staring Jason Statham which will start production around June. Also, two other films are looking at the area with a strong chance of filling up Shreveport with productions throughout the summer months.

Shreveport has had a very slow start this year with only a little over 4 milllion dollars worth of productions for the first quarter of the year. That should change real soon with new productions lining up for the new tax rebate that Shreveport is offering.

Caddo Parish is looking into passing a parish wide incentive to keep more productions in the area for the future. If the Governor passes a increased statewide incentive Shreveport will have one of the most competitive incentives in the country which will even outdo Georgia's aggressive incentive that has caused many productions to pass Louisiana by for more savings. My hats off to Councilman Calvin Lestor who proposed the rebate, Mayor Cedric Glover and the City Council for backing the idea and signing it into law and Arlena Acree of the Shreveport Film Office.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shreveport Passes Local Rebate for Film

The Shreveport City Council passed a sales tax incentives that covers Caddo Parish Louisiana. It will still have a few more channels to go through to put it in effect but it is a great step towards Shreveport showing true dedication to the future of the film industry.

The City of Shreveport offers economic incentives to the film industry in the form of rebates of sales taxes paid on lodging, lease, rental and other production expenditures made in City of Shreveport, including but not limited to sound stage or location leases and post production costs. I will have more to tell you as soon as the city finalizes the incentive.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Proposed tax rebate for City of Shreveport Set for Tuesday

Shreveport is working on adding additional tax incentives to the state incentive to entice movie productions to film more in Shreveport. Below is what is all about.

Councilman Calvin Lester of Shreveport will ask for a vote on this resolution on Tuesday, May 12. It would establish a local tax rebate. Let me know what you think. Our City Hall reporter Adam Kealoha Causey will be following up, so if you have any direct questions about City Council, email him at The full text of the resolution is below:
RESOLUTION NO. ___ of 2009
By: Councilman Lester
WHEREAS, the film industry represents a tremendous opportunity for economic development in the City of Shreveport, but is in a highly competitive field, and therefore to encourage growth, industry incentives are important.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Shreveport, in due, regular and legal session convened:
SECTION 1. That the following film industry incentive policy is hereby adopted, to read as follows:
1. Incentives
a. The City of Shreveport offers economic incentives to the film industry in the form of rebates of sales taxes paid on lodging, lease, rental and other production expenditures made in City of Shreveport, including but not limited to sound stage or location leases and post production costs.
b. For the purposes of this resolution, the term “film industry” shall include film and television productions, television commercials, and music videos.
c. Incentives are subject to the production company entering into a contract with the City of Shreveport relative to the incentive payments.
2. Incentive Funding Caps:
a. Basic Cap- $150,000.00 total to any individual project or production for new productions by a production company which has not previously received any City of Shreveport incentives.
b. Subsequent Productions- $165,000.00 for a production company which brings a subsequent production to the City of Shreveport within twelve months of completion of the prior project.
c. The funding cap shall be increased by $10,000 for productions which both have a production office in Caddo Parish and lease premises to be used as a soundstage in Caddo Parish.
3. Requirements for Rebate:
a. Production must either:
1. Have its production office located within Caddo Parish, or
2. Utilize a soundstage located within Caddo Parish, and;
b. Have acceptable expenditures of the type listed in paragraph 4, paid within Caddo Parish, amounting to at least $300,000.00.
c. In order to qualify for the enhanced subsequent production cap, both the original and the subsequent production must meet the criteria listed in 3.a. and 3.b.
4. a. Productions meeting the above requirements will be eligible for incentive payments equal to the City of Shreveport sales taxes paid on the following expenditures:
1. LODGING for cast and crew incurred in the City of Shreveport.
2. LEASE OR RENTAL EXPENSES, including all lease or rental expenses for equipment, automobiles, sound stage, location or production offices paid for a site in the City of Shreveport.
3. OTHER PRODUCTION AND POST PRODUCTION EXPENSES, including purchases of materials and supplies, related to the production of the project and post production.
b. For the purposes of this section, the term “City of Shreveport sales taxes” means sales taxes levied by the City of Shreveport, excluding the portion of the sales taxes dedicated by law or debt obligations to another purpose.
c. Payment and eligibility for incentives shall be subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as determined by the City of Shreveport Film Office.
5. Application process
a. Upon executing a lease or rental agreement, applicant should contact the City of Shreveport Film Office to begin the prequalification process. Film industry incentives are administered by, and all determinations of eligibility will be made by, the City of Shreveport Film Office.
b. The application shall include all information required by the City of Shreveport Film Office, including but not limited to:
1. Total projected budget,
2. Estimated total of expenditures eligible for the sales tax rebate,
3. Estimated room nights,
4. List of vendors and services likely to be utilized.
c. If the application is approved by the City of Shreveport Film Office, the production company shall enter into an agreement with the City of Shreveport for the incentive payments.
d. When the production efforts in the City of Shreveport are completed, applicant may apply for payment. Payment must be requested no later than 180 days from the completion of production. Payment will be made after the city has reviewed and, if necessary, audited the expenses in the application.
e. Payment of incentives is subject to funding as follows. The City of Shreveport will appropriate funds for incentive payments in an amount determined by the City Council and adopted in a budget ordinance. The Mayor will be authorized to execute agreements for incentive payments up to the amount of the incentives authorized herein, until all appropriated funds have been expended or encumbered by the exeution of agreements. Once funds appropriated in a fiscal year have been expended or encumbered, no further incentive agreements will be executed for that fiscal year, unless additional funds are appropriated for that purpose. In the event an agreement is entered into for a production extending into a future fiscal year, the agreement will include a non-appropriation clause, making incentive payments in future years for that production subject to the appropriation of funds for that purpose.
f. This incentive program applies to expenditures in the City of Shreveport for productions begun after the effective date of these provisions. For the purposes of the enhanced, subsequent cap, the original production may have already begun, but must still be on-going, at the time of the adoption of these provisions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution shall become effective after a budget ordinance has been adopted appropriating the funds for the incentive payments, and a resolution has been adopted authorizing the Mayor to execute agreements for the incentive payments.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if any provision of this resolution or the application thereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions, items or applications of this resolution which can be given effect without the invalid provisions, items or applications and to this end the provisions of this resolution are hereby declared severable.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all resolutions or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
Approved as to legal form:
City Attorney’s Office

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A message from Susie Labry about Louisiana Tax Incentives

UPDATE as of May 5 Some bills were filed and I added to this site.
There is widespread consensus and support of HB862 by Rep. Gallot and SB245 by Sen. Adley to increase tax credits to 30% for Production, 10% for Louisiana Workers, NO SUNSETS, NO SCALEDOWNS.

We are asking all to contact their State Representative and State Senator and Governor to support HB862 and SB245 and to tell them in a short paragraph how the movie industry effected you, your family and friends and community. I have set up below to make it easy to track legislation, etc. Any questions, please email me at or call me at 225-235-7879 or find me on Facebook.
To All in Louisiana Film Industry, Theater Live Performance Industry, Video/Digital Industry, Music Industry
The Legislature 2009 Tracking Legislation Regarding Louisiana Film, Video, Music, Entertainment IndustryTAX INCENTIVES
Legislative Website
House of Representatives
House of Representatives Live Video on Day of Live Video.
House Ways & Means Committee
House Ways & Means Committee Contact Info.
House of Representatives Ways & Means Agenda
Louisiana Senate
Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee
Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee Members and Contact Info
Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Live Video
Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Agenda
Senate Committee Schedules
For Live VideosFor Live Video RealPlayer Real1 Required.Download RealPlayer RealOne for Free
The GovernorBobby Jindal the Governor
Acrobat Reader Required to Read the BillsDownlaod Acrobat Reader for Free
House Bills
HB31 by Rep. LopintoHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB142 by Rep. HenryHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB213 by Rep. TalbotHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB272 by Rep. RichmondHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB450 by Rep. KatzHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB458 by Rep. TalbotHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB475 by Rep. GreeneHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB614 by Rep. MonicaHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB693 by Rep. GreeneHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB735 by Rep. MonicaHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB789 by Rep. GreeneHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB798 by Rep. CarterHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB811 by Rep. TalbotHouse Ways & Means Committee
HB862 by Rep. GallotHouse Ways & Means Committee
Senate Bills
SB 123 by Sen. MichotSenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee
SB159 by Sen. MarionneauxSenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee
SB160 by Sen. MarionneauxSenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee
SB245 by Sen. AdleySenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee
SB277 by Sen. DuplessisSenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee
SB287 by Sen. MartinySenate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee