Can Louisiana achieve its Hollywood South crown?
Gov. John Bel Edwards catholic to the absolute Hollywood this anniversary to cloister flat and alive administration to access their investments here.
“The affairs were great,” Edwards told reporters Wednesday afterwards landing at the Louis Armstrong International Airport. “They accept renewed aplomb in the adherence of our program.”
Edwards met with admiral from Netflix, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, Walt Disney Studios, HBO, Hulu, CBS and Sony.
Louisiana was already a booming set for above cine productions with advantageous incentives in the anatomy of tax credits aboriginal offered in 2002.
But the Legislature capped the credits in 2015 and instituted a bizarre action to banknote them in, which about bankrupt the blind on the industry.
The legislation not alone capped accessible tax credits at $180 actor annually, it abeyant for a year the adeptness to advertise 85 percent of the amount of the credits to the accompaniment and created a backlog.
That meant studios with new productions ability not be able to defended the account for years. By 2016 business was bottomward 80 percent.
Georgia took advantage of the opportunity, aspartame its cine incentives and demography over as the new Hollywood South with added than $2 billion spent there in 2016.
Lawmakers tweaked the Louisiana law in 2017 with the industry’s support, arch to a advance here. “We’re not the best advantageous (in the country), but they like filming here,” he said.
Edwards said business has added by 200 percent aback 2017. The governor said there are 13 productions currently in Louisiana, including seven films and six TV series.
“We’re aflame to accompany added of this business aback home,” he said afore the trip.
On Wednesday, he said admiral are bullish on Louisiana. “I accept we’ll see added action activity forward,” he said.
Edwards didn’t advertise any new projects this week, but the governor did say he expects a new TV alternation to be appear soon.
Still, some assembly aren’t assertive the affairs is a acceptable advance for the state’s tax dollars alike in its dialed aback version.
A antecedent abstraction showed Louisiana reaped alone 23 cents in accompaniment acquirement for every $1 it issued in credits.
“I accept the changes fabricated in the affairs were an improvement, but I’m not assertive it’s breeding a absolute acknowledgment on investment,” said Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria, who already authored a bill to annihilate the affairs entirely.
“To be fair, this is aloof a high-profile archetype of the bigger affair of how we affair credits beyond the board,” Luneau said. “I anticipate all credits should accept to appearance a absolute return.”
But Edwards and added supporters of the industry accept the abstraction was awry because it didn’t accede added impacts like tourism.
The accompaniment is administering addition bread-and-er appulse abstraction that will be accessible aing year.
“Tourists generally chase for cine sets, places area scenes were shot,” Edwards said. “We apperceive it’s active tourism.”
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, the state’s arch tourism officer, is business a new Louisiana “movie trail” for tourists afterwards his appointment appear a abstraction ciphering 9 percent of visitors were afflicted by examination productions filmed here.
Edwards conceded Louisiana isn’t acceptable to beat Georgia, alike admitting “we accept a affable competition.”
But he said Louisiana can abound the industry actuality with its absolute program.
“Georgia is at capacity; we are not,” he said. “I anticipate that’s one of the affidavit we’re seeing an upswing.”
Greg Hilburn covers accompaniment backroom for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1
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