Louisiana’s film industry in 2011

Securing a place at the top

When Louisiana became the first state to pass entertainment industry tax incentives in 2002, no one could have known that in less than a decade the state would have secured a place as one of the third most popular film and television location in the United States. Louisiana now has a real chance to log a record 150 filming applications this year and to see local film and TV in-state spending for the first time top $1 billion!

Louisiana posts record numbers in 2011

Film and TV media groups are still posting record numbers in Louisiana. As we head into the final quarter of 2011, Hollywood already has generated nearly $800 million on production in the state and spending should easily surpass the record set last year of $898 million. Perhaps it will even top $1 billion; certainly an achievement to be proud of! Meanwhile, one of the most gratifying things about the incentives program is the homegrown talent that is returning to Louisiana. Employment opportunities in the film and entertainment are rising significantly and Louisiana is thriving on its rich heritage and respect for the arts.

The Louisiana State Tax Incentive model

Ever since Louisiana instituted tax incentives nine years ago, 43 other states and more than a dozen foreign countries have followed suit; in many cases the packages are closely modeled on Louisiana’s original tax incentive program.

An oft-quoted independent analysis shows that film and TV productions spend $5.71 inside the state for every $1 in tax breaks they receive. Louisiana politicians are so confident in the incentives that they recently extended them beyond film and TV production.

Who qualifies for Louisiana Tax Credits?

Anyone involved in the production of TV, films, entertainment and even fringes that are located in Louisiana are able to apply for State Tax credits! Incentive programs for three additional genres have recently been included in the model to great effect. The State of Louisiana and FBT Film & Entertainment are committed to providing State Tax Credit solutions wherever possible, so if you don’t see your market below we might still be able to help!

  • Film cast, producers, resources, staff, security and so on
  • Fringes
  • Entertainment staff and crews
  • Sound recording
  • Digital and interactive (such as computer games) and live performances
  • Software designers, including apps

Other new incentives have recently been added to the Louisiana Tax Credit model to help accommodate everyone who is involved in the entertainment industry in Louisiana. These additions perks include:

  • Raising Film and Entertainment Tax Credits to 30%
  • Increasing to 85 cents on the dollar to the state’s commitment to buy back any tax credits
  • Offering a 5% labor tax credit on payroll for Louisiana residents

If you are interested in buying Louisiana State tax credits, FBT Film and Entertainment can help you analyze your tax requirements and make an informed decision. Please bear in mind, to qualify for these incentives you must meet the following minimal criteria:

  • You should be able to allow 30-45 business days to receive initial certification.
  • The minimum local budget in the State of Louisiana is $300,000
  • The purchasers must be listed as a Louisiana company.

Commending the IATSE

In contrast to the national jobs picture, Louisiana entertainment industry employment is up sharply. Hollywood generated more than 6,000 jobs in the Bayou State in 2007 alone (the last year for which statistics are available).

More impressively, IATSE membership has risen from fewer than 200 in 2002, to more than 1,000 today and growing due to the Louisiana model. The state is now 10 to 11 crews deep and increasing by the day. FBT Film & Entertainment is a proud partner of IATSE (http://www.fbtfilm.com/staffing-services.aspx) and are benefiting from their prosperity. We would like to congratulate IATSE on their impressive results and look forward to continuing to work with them into the future.