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Dwindling State Tax Credits Might Signal the End of Hollywood South

The Advocate reports on the downturn in Louisiana's film and TV industry

The once bountiful state tax credits for locally shot film and TV productions are drying up, causing productions to leave the state and local film studios to close or suffer. Is this the end of Hollywood South?

This weekend The Advocate wrote about this very issue, quoting those involved in the local industry about how changes to the state's once generous film tax credits—which include a $180 million cap on spending—are affecting them.

The closing of FilmWorks comes at a time when other soundstages around the state are experiencing dry spells, and businesses serving the local film industry—such as companies providing equipment rental and production trailers—are taking a hit.

But some argue that the money the state is spending to subsidize films could instead be allocated to "fix roadways, hire more professors and staff at LSU, Southern University of New Orleans and the University of New Orleans, and provide more nurses for the state hospital system." And while the film industry's study on the effects Louisiana's tax credits have had on the local economy paint a positive picture, "a 2015 study for Louisiana Economic Development found that the program generated only 23 cents in tax revenue for every dollar paid out by taxpayers in 2014."

However, it's hard to see how these changes won't affect those whose livelihoods depend on proximity to the film industry, such as a stunt man and coordinator based in the area who is quoted in the article. Just like what's happening with many of the productions, these changes might end up driving of these people out of state.

Major downturn plagues Louisiana's film, TV industry 'Hollywood South' after big changes to tax credit program [The Advocate]
FilmWorks Movie Production Studio in New Orleans East is Closing [Curbed NOLA]
'Scream Queens,' Which Filmed Season 1 in New Orleans, is Moving Production to California [Curbed NOLA]