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BREAKING 2pm 8-1-08 La. Film Tax Credits Renewal Needed Now: Movie Future Uncertain in State
Friday, Aug 01, 2008 11:49am

SHREVEPORT, LA By: Tom Pace, Executive Editor, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: MOVIE NEWS 2pm 8-1-08  This script comes straight out of Hollywood, now showing across the state: Louisiana needs to renew the Film Tax Credit program, or the movie business will go to other states. Fact: it’s all about money. Click here to listen to Jody Eldred's warning. 

Not letting the State's Film Tax Credit Program expire was the main topic at the 2008 Louisiana Film Summit held in Shreveport, La., Friday August 1st at the downtown Convention Center.
Many of the speakers at the morning’s session implored Louisiana legislators and the Governor to renew the Tax Credits program as soon as possible, because many studios are already budgeting for 2009 projects, while looking at other states around the country to examine their movie incentive packages. Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover is already lobbying for the renewal.


As Jody Eldred, Director/Cameraman/Writer for such shows as “NCIS” and “JAG” told the audience, “This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and the State of Louisiana needs to face the fact that while they were the first in 2002 to offer the tax credits, there are now 40 other states competing for their share of those movie dollars.” 


Eldred was very blunt, saying “Greed can kill the goose that laid the golden egg,” alluding to the possibility of lawmakers wanting to keep more money, forcing the producers and movie studios to go to other states.


Mary Ann Hughes, a  Disney Vice-President in charge of Production Planning for TV, Pictures, and Cable, said it simply, “If another state offers us a better tax incentive rate,  then we’d have to look hard and fast at that offer.”


Hughes also warned, “Georgia is right on your (Louisiana’s) heels with their new Film Tax Credit Program, that's now offering a 30% transferable rate.” 

The audience and presenters all agreed that the sooner the State of Louisiana embraces this industry and offers the incentives necessary to be competitive, the better off the movie industry will be, especially in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

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