Duck Dynasty's Louisiana state tax credits could be winged
More bad news: no official A&E show renewal yet & Vegas musical flops
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Things are not going so well right now for the bearded bunch of Duck Dynasty.
As far as I can tell -- although I must admit I didn't search very long or hard as I don't watch the quasi-reality cable television show -- Duck Dynasty has yet to get an official renewal order from A&E for season eight.
Then came word that "Duck Commander Musical," the Las Vegas stage production based on the 2012 book "The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty" by Willie and Korie Robertson, flopped.
The hirsute musical began performances on April 8, held a press opening on April 15 and will stage its last show at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on May 17. It had been expected to run in Sin City through at least June.
Producers are looking at ways to salvage their investment, perhaps through a national touring company at smaller, more quack-friendly venues across the country.
Tax break trouble, too: And, since bad news seems to come in threes, comes word that Louisiana lawmakers are trimming the state's film and TV tax credits.
Louisiana's creative arts tax break program is one of the most generous in the country. Its advocates say it's worth it, pointing to the more than 12,000 state jobs the tax credit supported last year.
But the study by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development that touts the employment benefits also shows that the state got just 23 cents back on each tax credit dollar.
Duck Dynasty, which is based in West Monroe, Louisiana, reportedly gets as much as $415,000 per episode thanks to the state tax credit. Bloomberg Politics reports that the show's production company has submitted expenses, which have yet to be certified by the state, for its first four seasons that would qualify it for $11 million in tax breaks.
Tax credit cuts move forward: Those taxpayers dollars could be reduced if HB 829, approved last week by the Louisiana House of Representatives, makes it into law.
The bill, part of a package put together by lawmakers to plug the Pelican State's $1.6 billion budget hole, would cap the film et al tax credit at $226.4 million annually. It also would limit the amount for any single state-certified production to $30 million.
While the Louisiana House was overwhelmingly approving film credit cuts, the state Senate was passing several separate tax credit reform bills. Now the two credit-cut approaches must be reconciled.
Louisiana's Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal originally balked at the film credit cuts, but the magnitude of his state's fiscal trouble prompted a slight change of heart. The governor (and possible GOP presidential nominee candidate…again) reportedly now is willing to support cuts to the film tax credit program as long as they are offset by tax reductions elsewhere.
If you're a fan of the Robertson clan, you might want to flock to your nearest DVD outlet and pick up the existing Duck Dynasty series for your personal collection. The duck calls might be soon silenced, if not by TV executives, then by state tax writers.
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