Disney places moratorium on new film projects in Louisiana

Disney places moratorium on new film projects in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Disney/ABC has issued a moratorium on new film projects in Louisiana, according to the Baton Rouge Business Report.

Celtic Studios Executive Director Patrick Mulhearn went to Los Angeles last week to talk to executives from different movie studios about the recent legislation on the film tax credits.

Mulhearn told the Business Report that it didn't go over well.

"I think they were shocked," said Mulhearn. "To say it went over like a lead balloon would be an overstatement. It went over like the Hindenburg."

The legislation was signed into law last week by Gov. Bobby Jindal and caps the state's film tax credits at $180 million each year for the next three years. While that troubles people in the film industry, the big issue is that with the new law that cap is affected when credits redeemed, not when they are issued.

"People won't know if the state is going to honor their tax credit," said Mulhearn.

Mulhearn said that some of the studio execs don't think they can trust the changes to be undone. "They need to know the next governor/Legislature will not try to suspend the buyback again," said Mulhearn.

With executives at Disney/ABC already suspending sending new projects to the state, it is unsure what other studios will follow suit.

"I'm not sure how you un-bake this cake," said Mulhearn. "But we can minimize the danger through rulings to make sure taxpayers are protected."

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