In this first edition of Louisiana Organizations for 2013, the talk is taxes. Taxes such as the fiscal cliff, and Louisiana tax credits that have helped fuel the Louisiana economy, such as the film and digital media industries.
Here's the latest about a record-breaking film industry in New Orleans, symposium on Tax Credits, comments from Michael Olivier, President and CEO of the Louisiana Committee of 100, some BioTech updates and an event by BGR on Water Management
New Orleans film explosion
Today, Film New Orleans within the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy announced that 2012 was a record-breaking year for New Orleans-based filming, with a 23% increase in spending for tax credit film projects (TV, films and commercials with budgets over $300,000). Year-end projections for 2012 show $669.8 million in direct spending for 61 tax credit projects in New Orleans, which compares to $544 million in direct spending for 46 tax credit projects in 2011.
“The film industry in New Orleans has becoming a major economic engine that puts hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
Notable projects filmed in New Orleans in 2012 included Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Quentin Tarantino; Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo; the third and fourth seasons of HBO’s Treme, starring New Orleans native Wendell Pierce; and Empire State, starring Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts.
New Orleans boasts the most diverse portfolio of film and television work in the state of Louisiana, catering to large studio features, small independent projects and a wide range of television and commercial productions. And despite its distinctive look, New Orleans is earning a reputation as a convincing stand-in for other locations. For example, the New Orleans-filmed Empire State is set in New York, and the anything-but-generic Crescent City played the role of anywhere USA in the movie 21 Jump Street, released in 2012.
Louisiana’s unique tax incentive package was created in 2002 to attract production companies to shoot on location and ultimately create a new industry in the state. Due to the success of the incentives, New Orleans now boasts production-friendly infrastructure and a skilled crew base that has grown by more than 400% since 2002. The City also has played host to locally produced films, such as Beasts of the Southern Wild, one of the year’s most acclaimed films, The Lookalike, and On The 7th Day.
The development and maturation of the film industry has resulted in both an increase in local employment and business opportunities. Productions increasingly look to New Orleans’ expanding crew base and talent when filming in the city as well as working with new industry-related businesses. Some of the city’s new or expanded businesses include Fletcher Camera, Quixote Studio Store and Equipment Rental, NoNo1 Prop House and Big Easy Studios. The City is working to provide workforce training opportunities and recently hosted a Production Assistant Training Program training 30 individuals for entry level jobs in the film industry.
Film New Orleans assists productions with the City’s permitting process, connects productions with local crew and resources, and facilitates communication between productions and the local community.
For questions about filming in New Orleans, www.filmneworleans.org.
Symposium on Louisiana Tax Credits
During this free half-day seminar, hosted by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and the Opportunity Machine, participants will learn how to utilize state tax credits to grow their business and/or offset a Louisiana tax liability.
Featured speakers include:
Reserve your seat today at http://taxsymposiumla.eventbrite.com.
BGR and Going Dutch
Thursday, January 10, 2013
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
921 Canal Street
Joseph Becker, General Superintendent, Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans
David Waggonner, Team Leader, Greater New Orleans Water Management Strategy
Please join us to hear Mr. Becker and Mr. Waggonner discuss the Sewerage & Water Board's current plans for drainage and an alternative vision for water management based on a Dutch approach.
Thanks to Regions Bank and The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, the Breakfast Briefing is free to the public. However, a reservation is required.
Campaign To Fix the Debt: Michael Olivier
Late Tuesday night Congress approved, and the President signed the following day, a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. But it is too soon to begin the back-slapping and congratulations. In fact, the agreement did little to tackle the biggest drivers of the country’s fiscal problems or tackle the growing national debt. Without meaningful entitlement, tax and spending reforms the debt will continue to grow, continue to endanger jobs and economic growth, and continue to put an even greater burden on future generations.
“Congress missed a ripe opportunity to pass a comprehensive deal that would actually address our nation’s debt problems through bipartisan cooperation,” said Michael Olivier, CEO of the Louisiana Committee of 100 and member of the state steering committee of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. “While it’s important that we avoided going over the fiscal cliff, now is not the time for lawmakers to call it quits. They need to return to negotiations and address our long-term issues by reforming the tax code, cutting wasteful spending, and ensuring the solvency of entitlement programs.”
Lawmakers have a responsibility to future generations to get our fiscal house in order. Instead of a finish line, lawmakers should capitalize on the goodwill of the moment to return to the table to discuss the tough decisions necessary to stabilize the national debt and gradually put it on a downward trajectory.
Louisiana members of the Campaign to Fix the Debt are now urging policymakers to make the reforms to further control spending, ensure the sustainability and solvency of entitlement programs, and reform the U.S. tax code to promote growth and greater revenue. The President and Members of Congress have publicly stated that more work needs to be done. The deal that the country needs will require lawmakers to put aside partisan holdouts to reach a principled agreement large enough to stabilize the debt and put it on a downward long-term trajectory.
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For more information on the Campaign to Fix the Debt, please visit www.fixthedebt.org.