Louisiana Film and TV Tax Break Program Boosting Production

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State filmmakers are hopeful the governor's trip will prove successful to bring in more film jobs to our area.

Folks here said the tax breaks have an economic impact.

The movie industry is growing again in Louisiana after Governor John Bel Edwards implemented new tax cuts.

"It's a great industry to bring into an area," said Sheila Snow from the Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The governor heads to California to meet with big filmmaking companies to promote those tax breaks next week.

"We're excited to see him head out there," said Jason Waggenspack, an independent filmmaker.

The film and TV tax break program touts many independent filmmaking companies, something Jason Waggenspack knows well.

"My studio, The Ranch Film Studios has seen a lot of great activity," said Waggenspack.

The program took a nose dive back in 2015 when lawmakers effectively gutted the states film tax credit program.

The downturn forced many filmmakers to leave Louisiana. But since changes to the tax credits in 2017, the state has seen a comeback.

"The change in the 2017 fiscal session, we've seen a slight uptick in filming activity which is fantastic. We had a pretty good lull there for about 24 months when they froze the by back tax credits in 2015.

Several films have been shot in Northeast Louisiana this year, including some independent films.

"It's a win, win situation when you can bring them here, and kind of have an economic impact."

Of course, series like "Duck Dynasty" helped bring, and keep those jobs here. That show wrapped last year.

"It does things. There are ripple effects like we've seen here with Duck Dynasty," said Sheila Snow.

Many hope the governor's trip will be successful making the state's film industry boom.

A study cited by the Baton Rouge paper, "The Advocate," found Louisianans get a quarter back on every dollar the film tax credits spend, which isn't much of a return.

The film industry disputed those claims though.