From our C’est What file this week, the Louisiana Ethics Board is set to give state lawmakers the full-steam-ahead to begin purchasing film tax credits issued by the Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive Act, a mechanism under the umbrella of the state Department of Economic Development designed to lure movie production companies to Louisiana by granting them tax credits to help offset their production costs. The board is also being advised that lawmakers can purchase tax credits issued by the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation.
The Ethics Board was asked for an advisory opinion on the issue in April by Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp, and during its meeting Friday in Baton Rouge the board will consider staff attorney Tracy Barker’s opinion that indeed nothing in Louisiana law prevents solons from cashing in on the tax credits.
The Louisiana Motion Picture Tax Incentive Act allows movie production companies to receive the tax credits — they must undergo an application process — and further allows the production companies, according to Barker’s report, to “elect to use the tax credits in three ways: (1) sell the tax credits to the State at 85% of face value; (2) claim the credits on it own tax return at 100% face value; or (3) sell the tax credits to a third party.” The historic-preservation tax credits work in similar fashion.
Barker points out in her report that many “out-of-state production companies have no state income tax liability, therefore the companies monetize these tax credits by using various agents to exchange them for cash.” Now that the Ethics Board is clearing the way for state lawmakers to purchase these tax credits, which they can evidently apply to their own individual and/or business income tax burden, may we wonder whether these lawmakers will have easier more expedited access to the “agents” peddling the credits?
Something just seems a bit “off” about the arrangement. But Barker says otherwise, concluding in her analysis (citing previously referenced state law):
Based on the process and procedures as described by OEID and the State Historic Preservation Office, it does not appear there is any transaction between a purchaser of tax credits (transferee/legislator) and the legislature as prohibited by R.S. 42:1113C. Further, no contracts are entered into with any state agency by the transferee/legislator in purchasing tax credits, thus no violation of R.S. 42:1113D is presented.
Also on Friday at the Ethics Board meeting, the board will consider an advisory opinion by staff attorney Brent Durham finding that a receptionist at the Paul & Lulu University Art Museum in Lafayette who won a pair of American Airlines tickets (to anywhere in the continental U.S.) as a door prize at a luncheon sponsored by the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission can accept the tickets. Girl, you go.
To read the advisory opinion on the tax credits (with links to associated documents), click here.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly