House committee votes to keep Hollywood South tax credits at $180 million

Drew White

After a heated debate over priorities given the state budget shortfall, a House committee on Friday decided to keep the cap on credits for movies, TV shows and commercials shot in the state at $180 million a year rather than cutting it to $90 million.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 8-4 to maintain the current subsidy even though some legislators suggested that the money should be used instead to stave off possible cuts in vital public services.

The state-subsidized credits incentivize production companies to film in Louisiana, once deemed “Hollywood South.” But the Legislature also is trying to solve an estimated $648 million “fiscal cliff,” and it is not clear if it will approve enough revenue measures to avoid the cuts.

“I think health care and education should be prioritized over Popeye’s commercials,” argued the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Phillip DeVillier, R-Eunice.

Read the story in The Natchitoches Times.

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