LED Secretary Stephen Moret shared a clarification with me today. My summary of the ERA study in this story was unintentionally unclear, for which I apologize. I'm sharing Moret's note with you. I always appreciate feedback.
From Stephen Moret, LED Secretary:
Your article in today's Shreveport Times includes the following paragraph (emphasis added):
"The Louisiana Economic Development Department released a study earlier this year that claimed the benefits of the industry outweigh the state's costs. The study estimated the incentive program would cost the state $115 million but stimulate $763 million in economic activity. Other national studies have suggested that tax incentive programs cost a state much more than they are worth."
The report clearly showed that the "economic activity" generated by the tax credits is far greater than the cost of the tax credits, but the report also made it clear that the State provides much more value in tax credits than the film industry generates in tax revenues. Table 14 on page 35 (see attached report) summarizes the fiscal impact of the film production tax credits for the last few years for which data is available; clearly the State provides far more in tax credits than it receives in associated tax revenues. In 2007, for example, film productions generated approximately $15MM in state tax revenue while costing the State $115MM in tax credits, which means the State ultimately will realize a net loss in tax revenues of roughly $100MM for film activity in 2007 (once all earned credits are actually claimed).
I share this information just to clarify the facts for future reference. We strongly support the continued growth and development of the entertainment industry, including the film production industry, in Louisiana. That is why we are supporting legislation that would continue the current value of the film-production tax credits for at least two more years, despite the net cost of the program to the State. This obviously is a very important industry to the Shreveport/Bossier area, as well as to the whole state.