La. spent millions on film tax credits - KLFY News 10

La. spent millions on film tax credits

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Since 2002, because of a tax credit program, Louisiana is the third most popular state when it comes to filming movies and TV shows.

At the same time there are some who argue that popularity has come at a price, opponents of the tax credit program say as a recent audit shows the Bayou State is missing out on hundreds of millions in revenue.

From major Hollywood block busters, to one of the most recognizable and loved families in the entire country in Duck Dynasty. Since it's creation in 2002, the Louisiana Film Tax Incentive program has brought in dozens of your favorite movies and TV shows.

Is it paying off?

According to a recently released state audit, $800 million were spent in tax credits over the past five years.

"With state revenues suffering at this point, it does have a multiplier on the economy," says Dr. Anthony Greco.

Greco is an economics professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He believes the state should not put the program on the cutting room floor yet, even though it's losing the state money.

"Now that we're in the game it's hard to pull out. We're ranked third and we could lose that territory to other states," explains Greco.

Supporters of the program say the industry has created thousands of new jobs, while critics question if Louisiana gets enough return for its investment.

To see if the state's film tax credit program is valuable the Department of Revenue did a calculation. For every $1 issued in tax credits, in return the state does however get $5.71 in economic output.

"Usually you get a multiplier of two that's an average return, but something at almost six is very good," says Greco

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