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Edwards meeting Hollywood execs to tout Louisiana tax breaks

September 28, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards will travel to California in a bid to promote Louisiana’s film and TV tax break program to entertainment companies like Netflix and HBO, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Edwards, Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson and economic development officials leave Louisiana on Sunday and return Wednesday, according to the governor’s office.

The delegation meets Monday with executives from Netflix, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Studios. Edwards’ office said Tuesday meetings will be with representatives from HBO, Hulu, CBS and Sony.

“The economic impact of this industry is clear, and we are excited to bring back more of this business home,” Edwards said in a statement.

Louisiana’s film tax credit program has been a point of contention for years in the state, both derided as a wasteful giveaway of state tax dollars and championed as an economic driver that helped to make the state “Hollywood South.”

Edwards said spending caps added to the program, along with incentives to encourage a homegrown industry, have provided opportunities for investment in Louisiana and job creation.

“This program provides more opportunities for companies to invest in Louisiana and hire our residents for well-paying, full-time jobs,” the Democratic governor said. “We have seen tremendous recent success, including more recurring TV series, such as NCIS: New Orleans, Cloak & Dagger, Claws and Queen Sugar.”

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