Since initiating an ambitious tax-credit program for filmmaking, Louisiana has seen filmmaking revenues jump from an average of $44 million annually to an average of $124 million per year. The tax credit gives back 10% on any investment of a production exceeding $300,000 and 15% if the production exceeds $8 million.
A separate employment tax credit returns 10% of the total payroll of Louisiana hires on a production exceeding $300,000 and 20% if the production costs exceed $1 million.
Louisiana also exempts sales-tax payments by production companies that report expenditures of more than $250,000 on a project based in the state.
The state’s financial sector also strongly backs the program, says Mark S. Smith, who as general counsel of Louisiana’s Lt. Governor’s Office devised the program. “They can help push your cause at the legislative level.”