By: Jeremy Alford
The Louisiana Entertainment Industries Association, a trade group representing everyone from studio heads and producers to actors and grips, wants the state to put reasonable limits on the industrys much-ballyhooed tax incentives but not solely at the expense of producers. Louisiana Economic Development scheduled a public hearing on the production and infrastructure tax incentives to get input on proposed changes to the program. LEIA leaders say they oppose any effort to force producers to make all related expenditures prior to the end of 2008 to qualify for the infrastructure credits. The group also wants to make sure that hotel rooms do not qualify for the infrastructure tax credit. (Former state Rep. Gary Beard, R-Baton Rouge, was criticized last year for seeking millions in tax credits for a production studio project that included a $115 million hotel and a $128 million condo development.) LEIA also opposes any move to make applicants pay for the cost of additional audits once the tax incentives are granted. More than anything else, the group says its time for clear guidelines so that the state as well as producers know what to expect.