by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
As I’ve shown frequently here, more and more states are rethinking their film incentives. Louisiana, which was the first U.S. state to offer film incentives, beginning in 1992, and which has repeatedly proven that its very large incentives program is a net money loser, is once again debating the incentives’ actual merit.
According to The Daily Advertiser:
…Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, sponsored HB 276 to trim back next year to $130 million and end by 2019 the generous credits to the film industry. Harris wore the black hat in this drama, but he made some points about fiscal responsibility. The credits have been coming in greater amounts for a long time, he said; when will the film industry stand on its own in Louisiana?
Credits that started at $40 million in 2002 eclipsed $200 million in 2014. Where does that stop?
And yes, art has intrinsic value not easily measured. But facing a $1.6 billion deficit, shouldn’t the state be measuring with some serious intent?
As this session continues, credits for film may be weighed against the pending danger to the well-being of the state universities. Can we fund them both? Either? Neither?
Chambliss said those state credits keep the film crews working around the state. Take those away, she said, and the industry will pack up for the next state that offers better incentives. They are packing up and leaving California now, witnesses said. …
In the end, Ways and Means OK’d three bills with various caps — $226 million, $200 million and $150 million.