The reason that the industry is helping Louisiana boost its economy is due to a fully-developed incentive program and law which allows producers of “digital or interactive media” to obtain tax credits for their productions in Louisiana.
As a disclaimer, digital media is very important to me . Roughly ten years ago, I created the concept and helped developed the law and actively assisted in its current expansion.
Many people and organizations such as GNO Inc. the Louisiana Economic Development (LED), elected officials such as governors Blanco and Jindal, their economic development secretaries, Michael Olivier and Stephen Moret are responsible for its rapid expansion. And, of course, the members of the legislature deserve tremendous credit passing the legislation so LED now has the tools with which to work.
One of those individuals who first worked for Governor Mike Foster in the area of entertainment is Chris Stelly, who has taken charge of the entire Department of Entertainment and digital media in particular, with great enthusiasm and insight.
In this third part of a recent Bayoubuzz interview with Stelly, Stelly, the Director of Entertainment for Louisiana Economic Development discusses the original and purpose of the law, how the state is benefiting, what types of industries might be benefiting from the law and tax incentives.
He also talked about how certain modern industries are great fits for the tax credits-- such as medical or biotech companies. These types of jobs created by the legislation, according to Stelly are long-term, high-paying, which allows the state to overcome the “brain drain” and bring back our ex-patriots.
The Entertainment Director also explained how new technologies such as smart phone apps and social media are great fits for the incentive program as long as they meet certain criteria such as-- all of the work must be performed in Louiaiana and that the product must be interactive and digital.
Since Louisiana also provides for very attractive tax incentives for its other ever-expanding industries such as film industry, live performance and music , there are tremendous opportunities for many and there could be some overlapping among these specific creativities. Digital media offers a substantial 35% tax credit which is the highest of the incentive suite.
With so many opportunities for the creative class, how can one take advantage of these tax instruments to keep the overall costs down? Watch the video as he discussed the above as well as the process to obtain the incentive package. Not at all coincidental, getting the tax credit certification involves one obtaining and providing information to the department to get the digital ball rolling.
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