Celtic Studios, Baton Rouge’s largest entertainment production company, is hoping recently made changes to the state’s film tax incentive will stabilize the industry for the near future.
“We would love for production to come back. We hope what the Legislature did makes us competitive,” says Celtic Group CFO Bob Bayham. “We’ll just have to see how that works out. Obviously we have to do what’s best for our company—if production doesn’t materialize we have to look for other ways to make revenue.”
Over the past two years, Celtic and other studios in Louisiana have lamented the steep loss in business they say is a result of the Legislature cutting back the state tax credit for film production two years ago. Celtic looked to other sources of income but ultimately took a hit, Bayham says, as movie and television producers looked to other states to film.
The 2015 changes to the incentive program changed how the law is administered and capped how much the state would pay out each year. The “back end” cap—as opposed to a “front end” cap where the state would only approve a certain amount each year—was called a legislative mishap by those in the industry.
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