The amount of money Louisiana offers in tax incentives for film and television is more than six times as large as it was a decade ago, according to Louisiana Department of Economic Development data.
In 2013, $251 million was spent on incentives, compared with $40 million in 2003. Incentives have increased for three consecutive years, and the state has been a shooting location for films like “Green Lantern,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Twilight,” and television shows like “American Horror Story” and “Salem.” According to the Advocate, Louisiana spent more on incentives for “Green Lantern” than it’s spending at the University of New Orleans this year.
“The only way the movie tax credit program works is you have to keep paying them that incentive every year,” Travis Scott, president of Public Affairs Research Council, told the Advocate. “I think one of the movie promoters gave the best argument against this program when he said, ‘If you change or eliminate this program, we’ll all go to Georgia tomorrow.’ That, to me, speaks volumes.”
But a handful of states have begun reconsidering their film incentive programs, including North Carolina, where the state legislature allowed their program to expire. In Maryland, a state study recommended the legislature allow their incentive program to expire, while Nevada lowered the amount it offers annually.