Film incentive cuts in other states benefit Louisiana

Everyone is feeling the current economic pressures, whether they are private businesses or state governments. As these entities attempt to adjust to the slowing and struggling economy, some states have suggested changing, lowering, or eliminating tax incentives to the film and televisions industry, including New Mexico. These changes may result in many of these productions leaving unstable states to set up shop in ones where the government is more supportive, such as Louisiana.

 

The situation in New Mexico

As the state government in New Mexico faces budget concerns, some of the members of both Congress and the House of Representatives are calling for changes to the current tax incentives offered to production houses. Currently, film and television companies are offered a 25% tax rebate in this state, but state government is considering lowering that to only 15% or eliminating it entirely.

While this would result in higher tax revenues for New Mexico in theory, people associated with film and television production services are concerned that it might have detrimental effects, including:

  • Leading film and television productions to move to other states where costs would be cheaper

  • Losing the jobs associated with these production companies

  • Creating a less certain and stable environment which would be unattractive to television series, which usually sign five year contracts

  • Losing the revenue to local businesses, including retail outlets and service providers that benefit from the influx of people and money that comes from these productions

What this means for Louisiana

While the changes to tax incentives in New Mexico are a cause of concern for those residents, they may translate into a source of economic stimulus for film and television production in Louisiana. Louisiana currently has laws and policies that create a favorable and welcoming economic environment for the entertainment industry and there are no challenges to these policies in our state.

This also means that companies can bring their productions here today and be confident that the costs will stay relatively stable over the coming years. This will lead companies to choose our state over competing ones, benefitting both those hired by the companies themselves and the rest of the businesses in our communities that will also enjoy increased traffic from these ventures.