State proposes changes to Industry Tax Exemption Program

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Companies looking in Louisiana, and those interested in coming to the state, could expect changes to the Industry Tax Exemption Program (ITEP). And those changes could be coming fast.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson presented the changes to the Board of Commerce and Industry Wednesday morning. Under the current program, eligible companies get 100 percent property tax abatement for five years, and then three years at 80 percent.

But during the meeting, Pierson said this caused several problems: local governments didn't get revenue soon enough and companies wanted a more stable plan. The governor's office is now proposing that companies get a flat 80 percent abatement for ten years.

For more information on ITEP and the proposed changes, click here.

"This provides more certainty, more clarity in an expedited way to get through this process," Pierson said. "Of getting these exemptions considered by local bodies."

Pierson says he hopes the changes will help both sides by getting local governments their revenue sooner and attracting more businesses to Louisiana.

"What these programs do is keep Louisiana competitive. We're winning major projects today. We want to continue to be in that posture. We don't want to be behind our states that we compete with," he said.

The board is looking for public comment on the mater. They have set up two dates, May 22 and June 25, for people to come and voice their opinions on the changes. These meetings will be held at the La Salle building on North Third Street.

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