Louisiana Film Tax Credit Program Faces Major Changes

On Friday afternoon, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into legislation the new state budget, including controversial House Bill 829, a bill that directly impacts the film industry by placing an annual cap of $180 million on credits redeemed or used.

In addition to the annual cap, the bill places a temporary halt on buying back credits until July 1, 2016 and also limits the amount of credits that will be awarded for an individual film project to $30 million.

The legislation will lead to jobs in the state being cut as well as limit any major productions that will consider filming in the state. The past few years have seen filming in the state of such blockbusters as Terminator: Genisys, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and current box office king Jurassic World.

The legality of the bill has also been called into question, with suit being threatened by those in the local film industry. Those critics of the bill focus on the annual cap, as the cap is back-ended, meaning productions will be able to earn credits but may not be able to redeem them. This could lead to a potential legal nightmare, as the state will owe back on credits that had been previously earned.

Once thing is certain, however. The film industry in Louisiana and Hollywood South will be forever altered with the new legislation.