Gov. John Bel Edwards returned Wednesday from a two-day trip to California to promote Louisiana’s film industry and tax credit program. Edwards said he met with eight major studios and received positive feedback from film executives.
“The program is stable. It’s very much to their liking. It’s not the most lucrative in the country, but they like being in Louisiana anyway,” Edwards said.
Louisiana lost traction in the movie-making business when it changed the buy-back structure of its tax credit program in 2015. But since 2016, Edwards said film productions have spent more than $1.29 billion in our state, including $634 million in payroll to Louisiana residents. In 2016, LSU released a study showing that 14,000 in-state jobs are supported by the film industry.
“For every $1 in credits that we certify, there’s about $5 in activity – economic impact – across the state of Louisiana,” Edwards said. Those are figures released following a 2016 study. A new economic impact report is expected in 2019. Edwards said he expects to see an even greater rate of return when that report is completed.