I was a bit dismayed by the recent opinion by columnist Tim Morris regarding Louisiana’s film tax credit program. It shows a misunderstanding of what the reformed program is designed to accomplish.
In 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards called for changes to the Motion Picture Incentive Act that would create a sustainable industry, better return on investment, statewide impact and fiscal responsibility. He tasked Louisiana Economic Development with the job of developing recommendations to meet those goals. I served as project manager for that effort, and I can tell you that the new law is much more than the old “Hollywood South” model of piecemeal production and catering jobs that Tim refers to.
The LED team of professionals embarked on an in-depth process of research, benchmarking and stakeholder outreach that started with determining where the state gets the most value and what public policy could do to enhance that. It resulted in a new law, championed by Sen. J.P. Morrell, that is both innovative and fiscally prudent. Its focus is on homegrown filmmaking and creating full-time permanent jobs.