Here comes that time of the year when Louisiana legislators will be hassled for anything from manicuring rights for orphaned crawfish to the dastardly, diabolical motion picture investor tax credit programs. The former is fictional while the latter is a fictional creator of entertainment, a creator of skilled labor jobs, local businesses and opportunities which Louisiana has not seen in several decades, if at all. The motion picture and television industry has infused more than $3 billion dollars in the last few years since the mythical Hollywood South was born and has created more than 15,000 jobs. Even the national media sees Louisiana as the new Hollywood as did CBS in this news story.
The Reality of Investor Tax Credits
With the latest news flurry of attacks on the investor tax credit programs, the uninformed and the destructionists are questioning their legislators as to why they are not getting theirs – their piece of the pie. In reality, the news just finished the first cycle of Nielsen ratings sweeps for the year (February is a sweeps month), so the Louisiana news media cannot help themselves to glorify the criminals who took advantage of the programs and shame the investor tax credit programs the good people of Louisiana have instituted. The destructionists in the legislature and inside the government of Louisiana want to do away with these programs completely. They have miraculously deemed themselves the final arbiters of where the taxpayer’s money is spent.
Most in the legislature spend hours upon hours tending to their constituencies and with good cause. In Louisiana as in some other states, being a legislator is a part-time job with a full-time load and a thankless job at that sometimes. The simple analysis above should provide a very good basis from which to begin any debate on the motion picture investor tax credits.
While debate about the scammers, criminals and crooks will always be a part of our legislative fabric, whole cloth can be cut and stitched to build the best program in the country. The investor tax credits program apparently is the best in the nation as CBS has reported. Just ask any home grown actor, crew talent, or small business owner in Louisiana who provide products and services to the industry.
This blog would not exist but for the investor tax credits which created an industry out of whole cloth. To the uninformed, you only have to look at the chart to realize the Louisiana Department of Revenue has projected the motion picture investor tax credits and affiliated programs only account for 2.26% of all so-called ‘losses’ to the state budget for 2015.
The state bureaucrats actually call ‘you keeping your tax dollars’ a loss, or investor tax credits a loss. This is only a disease one finds in government bureaucracy. But, that is an argument for another time and place.
This article could easily be several pages long and include an in-depth analysis of motion picture investor tax credit programs from around the Big Blue Marble, their pluses-minuses. A college course could be created out of the metrics and business models created.
Your humble author felt in the interests of getting a simple point across, cutting to the chase was the best approach. The State of Louisiana has created these investor tax credit programs and of all the so-called ‘losses’ to the budget, the entertainment-related ones only account for 2.26%.
Remember that percentage. We have created 15,000 plus jobs and received over $3 billion dollars in cash-on-the-barrelhead for Louisiana businesses and crew talent. That is money Louisiana would not have seen were it not for this industry. Those are jobs Louisiana would not have seen were it not for this industry. The scammers and crooks will eventually be caught and they will serve their time in federal prison. Many already have been caught and have served time for their crimes.
As for fine tuning, your author has several initiatives which would help strengthen the laws and give support to an industry. Any legislator is more than welcomed to contact this author. It is time for the Louisiana legislature to fine tune the programs, as opposed to throwing them all out into the swamp.