CBS Applied for Tax Credits During Super Bowl Coverage, But It Is Not Like the NFL Asking For Tax Breaks From Super Bowl Hosts

A few weeks ago, the story came out that the NFL was asking, as part of Super Bowl bids, for its officials not to have to pay local taxes that were part of increases due to NFL stadium construction. Now, comes word that CBS has sought (as originally mentioned by nola.com back in February) a tax credit for the Super Bowl week coverage from a show called “The Talk.”

The Lens brought this up yesterday, and there are some quotes from local politicians. “The Talk” is a morning talk show (sounds similar to The View, with all-female hosts) that was shot on location at Jackson Square. The State of Louisiana has a Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit, which appears to apply to the CBS talk show. The network did not apply for credits for production costs associated with other shows or the Super Bowl telecast itself, because those are specifically excluded by the statute.

The “television behemoth” is asking the “seventh poorest state” for a tax credit. You know who people should be mad at? The politicians. You know, the ones that wrote the statute, and if they have an issue, they should change the law. Here is an excerpt from The Lens with comments from the individual in charge of managing the tax credit for the state.

Chris Stelly, who manages the tax credit for Louisiana Economic Development, a state agency, said he expects “The Talk” to qualify for the tax benefit.

“The Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit statute specifically excludes televised news and sporting events from eligibility; therefore, the filming and distribution of a game such as the Super Bowl would be ineligible to receive motion picture tax credits in Louisiana,” Stelly wrote in an email. “However, talk shows that are filmed in Louisiana are eligible.”

In an interview, Stelly added: “The law says what the law says.”

CBS didn’t ask Louisiana to pass this law. Like any business, they seek to navigate the existing laws. If you had a coupon to a restaurant, or an opening day baseball game, and you met the conditions, you would use it, right? Do you care if that business made a good decision in printing the coupons?

This isn’t like the NFL seeking to gain additional advantages by both pushing for public funding while later seeking to be excluded from contributing to that public funding when they come to town. I suppose I am supposed to feel sorry for Louisiana for putting a tax credit in to attract business, and getting increased business? Nope.

[photo via cbs.com]

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