One billion dollars. That's how much Louisiana has given the film industry in tax credits over the past ten years, according to a new Louisiana Budget Project Report. It considers that money not well spent. The report says the film industry has created just under 3,000 jobs in the state, and many of those are temporary. Bossier City Film Liaison Pam Glorioso doesn't agree.
"We feel and I feel personally that the tax credit program has been beneficial," Glorioso said.
Glorioso says new jobs and the money spent by film studios while in Louisiana for venues, supplies, services and so on adds up to benefit the state.
"I think that when they look at the money expense for the tax credits, they'll look at the revenue return being much greater coming back to the state," Glorioso said.
The they Glorioso is referring to is Louisiana's Revenue Study Commission, which held it's first meeting last month. The commission will sift through all of the state's tax incentives to find those that benefit the state and those that don't. Then, it will make recommendations that could kill some incentives. Local State Representative Patrick Williams is on the commission and says the film industry tax credits will eventually be judged. He also says the commission knows how important the tax credits are but can't ignore problems.
"There are reports that show positive impacts, and there are reports that show negative impacts," Williams said.
He says the tax credits will face changes in the form of reformations or limits.
"Actually, the industry understands that it should be," Williams said. "However, to do it prematurely would probably damage more than it would help."
Williams says the commission will examine each sector in the industry. Studios with permeant instate locations, like Millennium, might not face changes.
"They're putting back into the area, which is the purpose of those incentives," Williams said.
Glorioso says any severe changes will lead to job losses and a possible decline in the film industry. Williams says the commission understands this and will work to prevent such a situation.