Whaddo they mean with all that business about Louisiana's economy not being all diversified and stuff? Don't they know we are the Film Production Capital Of The World now?But Louisiana, which has a smaller and less diversified economy than Texas, is already feeling the sting of the price downturn because it relies on more oil and gas money for its operating budget. Louisiana loses $12 million for every $1 in decline in the annual average price of oil, according to Greg Albrecht, the state’s chief economist.“From a strictly budgetary perspective, Louisiana is more sensitive to all of this,” said James A. Richardson, a Louisiana State University economist who serves on the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference, which determines how much money can be plugged into the budget. “It shows up in our house much sooner.”Gifford Briggs, vice president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association, said some sections of the industry were beginning to scale back as reality set in and prices dropped. Though production in existing wells is expected to continue apace in the coming months, companies are already shrinking their drilling and exploration activity, he said.“Landmen say they’re laying off everyone they have right now until things pick up,” he added, referring to the independent firms that provide services to exploration and drilling companies.
Except that's actually a bigger problem.
"It's very difficult to justify shooting in California when you have these types of incentives," Berger said.So our consolation from the new oil bust is that this time we've "diversified" into a an industry that is a drag rather than a boon to the state budget, employs a mere fraction of the people, and.. oh yeah... could all pick up and move as soon as someone offers a better deal.
Those incentives were detailed in one part of The Advocate's eight-part "Giving Away Louisiana" series on existing tax breaks and how they're affecting the state's budget.
Last year, 107 film and TV projects qualified for help from Louisiana taxpayers, at an upfront cost to the state budget of about $250 million. Stephen Moret, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s secretary of Economic Development, says he thinks that figure could double within a few years.
And other states are taking notice. Some 39 now offer film-related tax incentives, and it seems Hollywood is feeling the pressure. Next year, California hopes to bring back the lost business with newly expanded tax credits of up to 25 percent.One imagines, state lawmakers will be asked to match that. Do we even have any schools and hospitals left we can close? 2015 is going to be fun.