Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has signed into law a package of tax breaks designed to bolster video game production in the state, according to the Associated Press.
Jindal also approved several other bills providing tax breaks to non-game related sectors. While some critics have questioned the wisdom of giving up state tax revenue in a troubled economy, Jindal referred to the incentives as "critical tools":
By signing these bills, we’re ensuring that we not only have the ability to remain economically competitive, but that we can continue to move our state forward by making Louisiana the greatest place in the world to find a great paying job and raise a family.
A press release on Gov. Jindal’s website offers a bit of information on the video game bill:
SB 277 by Sen. Ann Duplessis is similar to Governor’s package bill HB 457, which extends and expands the Digital Interactive Media Tax Credit by permanently extending and increasing the credit by 5 percent creating a single rate of 25 percent of expenditures plus an additional 10 percent for Louisiana resident payroll expenditures (35 percent total credit for resident payroll). The bill also expands the definition of digital media to include technology companies.
UPDATE: Game publishers lobbying group ESA issued a press release praising Jindal for signing the tax break into law. ESA boss Mike Gallagher’s commented:
We commend Governor Jindal for his strong leadership as well as that of Senator Duplessis for expanding the state’s computer and video game development and production base, and helping lead the way in creating the next generation of entertainment innovation in Louisiana.
Developers and publishers live and work for years in states where games are created, providing a higher return on investment than any form of entertainment.