Film industry working with legislators on tax incentive

Film industry working with legislators on tax incentive

LOUISIANA (KSLA) - With the state more than a billion dollars in the red, some Louisiana legislators are looking for areas to cut in the 2015 budget.

The popular and rather successful - but now controversial film tax credit for Louisiana appears to be on the chopping block.

"Let's face it, if we lose the tax credits, and there are no tax credits in Louisiana, there is no film industry," said Diego Martinez, president of Millennium Studios in Shreveport.

Martinez says the idea of no movie industry in Louisiana is especially troubling considering Louisiana has led the way in incentive tax credits since 2002. Its mark has been made, not only in South Louisiana, but here in Shreveport as well.

"This is an industry that is dropping millions upon millions [of dollars] into the economy, and not just from those in the industry, we're talking about restaurants, hotels and lumber companies it effects so many people," said Martinez.

Next week, legislators will introduce bills to reduce the tax incentives, or at least impose reform. Martinez says it's a day that's been coming for some time.

"We want to work with the state," said Martinez.

The film industry will let Louisiana legislators know next Wednesday just how important it has become.

"Six or seven people out of the ten people who visit the state have had some influence from a television show or a movie they watched," said Martinez.

In 2002 the film industry in Louisiana was novel, now Martinez argues it's grown to be a very important part of the economy.

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