by Kyle Orland (Gamasutra Article can be found here)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed a bill enhancing the state's existing tax credit for game developers, potentially resulting in significant savings for game companies in the state.
The state's Digital Media Tax Credit will now offer benefits as a refundable credit, rather than a transferable credit, allowing eligible companies to obtain a cash rebate if the credits amount to more than their outstanding tax liability for the year. The law still offers a 25 percent tax credit on software production in the state -- including entertainment software -- and a 35 percent credit for Louisiana payroll taxes devoted to software development.
Louisiana lawmakers say the Digital Media tax credits -- first established in 2005 and expanded in 2009 -- have been instrumental in attracting companies such as EA, which recently announced it would be expanding its game testing presence facility on the LSU campus. "Louisiana's Digital Media Tax Credit is a strong asset to growing the industry and making the state a global competitor in video game development," Craig Hagen, senior director of government affairs for Electronic Arts, told Louisiana's KATC. "We look forward to working with Louisianans in this exciting endeavor."
French mobile publisher Gameloft recently began hiring for a studio in New Orleans, which will also be impacted by the tax credit.