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New Law to Build Sustainable Entertainment Industry

Louisiana Economic Development is once again blazing a trail in entertainment industry development. Driven by a generous tax incentive, the state has been a leader in film productive activity for fifteen years. While building a robust infrastructure, employing thousands of La residents and having a significant economic impact, the old program has done little to develop a permanent entertainment economy. Now with a new law that incentivizes investment in local intellectual property and permanent fulltime job creation, Louisiana plans to leverage that traditional filming activity and pivot toward building a more sustainable and indigenous industry.

Effective July 1, 2017, the new Motion Picture Incentive Act, establishes an incentive for Qualified Entertainment Companies to locate and grow in Louisiana by providing a payroll tax credit modeled on Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program. QECs that create at least five net new jobs may be eligible for a 15 percent credit for jobs of $45,000 to $66,000 per year, and 20 percent for jobs between $66,000 and $200,000 per year. The maximum amount of credits that a company can receive is $1 million annually.

These companies will not only add to the state’s mature infrastructure, but will also broaden and sustain Louisiana’s entertainment industry. In doing so, the state will capture much more of the value stream that is today’s digital entertainment industry, such as back-office activity, digital distribution, and other full time employees that the regular production credit has not captured.

In addition to the new QEC provisions and a smarter production incentive that focuses on the most valued film activity, the policy concentrates on encouraging investment in the production of Louisiana Intellectual Property and nurturing homegrown filmmakers. By adding an additional 10% on the base credit for films made in the state based on a Louisiana resident screenplay, Louisiana plans to build a homegrown industry of local content creators – long a missing link in the Louisiana film value chain. A built in funding mechanism is also part of the new program and a key component of growing the state’s filmmaking community. It will provide funding for the Louisiana Filmmakers Grant program, a loan guarantee, a deal closing fund and work force initiatives.

The entire motion picture incentive act has an annual cap of $150m

This is a bold step forward in Louisiana’s entertainment industry. LED is building a film, TV and interactive content production ecosystem that will have a lasting and sustainable impact for all of Louisiana.


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