by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
An editorial from the Shreveport Times about Louisiana’s film incentives hits on some of the same criticisms I have of North Carolina’s film incentives:
We all enjoy seeing the movie magic at work in our streets here in Shreveport-Bossier City. We welcome the occasional glimpse of film stars in our midst whom we might otherwise only have seen in a trip to the local movie theater. Clearly, it’s easy to literally get stars in our eyes when it comes to the business of making movies.
Tuesday’s report from the Louisiana Budget Project tries to shake off a little of that stardust and present a clearer picture of what the balance sheet actually looks like when it comes to the state tax credit program used to lure filmmakers to the state to work. Basically, for every dollar of revenue the state records from filmmaking, Louisiana paid $7.29. …
Yes, we are seeing more productions (an estimated 118 films made in Louisiana in 2010 up from only one in 2002), but is this a true measure of the program’s success? LBP says no. Moret says yes. Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that Louisiana is paying dear to get a front-row seat in the movie business, and at a time when the state is cutting higher education and health care ruthlessly it’s probably prudent lawmakers revisit the program to make sure it benefits not only the film industry but the state as well.