Louisiana legislation to boost state ports
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation that supports the state’s ports by expanding a tax cargo credit for certain port projects.
The legislation, S.B. 122—authored by Sen. Norby Chabert—modifies the Investor Tax Credit (ITC) and the Import-Export Tax Credit (IETC) by expanding the types of projects that qualify for exemptions. Projects that will qualify for the credit include warehousing and storage, port operations, marine cargo handling, shipbuilding and repairs, and oil and gas activities.
“The credits will benefit Louisiana companies that import or export goods through the Louisiana’s ports, making them more competitive in the global marketplace. The credit modifications will help bring new cargo into Louisiana ports, attracting additional shipping lines and services into Louisiana's competitive market from other states,” Jindal’s office said in a statement.
Specifically, S.B. 122 makes the following changes to the tax credits:
- Adds “shipbuilding and repair” and “support activities for oil and gas operations” to the definition of “port or port and harbor activity.”
- Authorizes Louisiana Economic Development (LED) to grant a credit when it determines that such project will have a “significant positive economic impact” such as positive tax revenue, after taking into account direct, indirect and induced impacts of the project.
- Provides LED the flexibility to award the IETC to international businesses based on pre-contract tonnage.
- Removes the transferability of the IETC.
- States that no tax credit may be granted for a project that exceeds $2.5 million per tax year, and the total amount of tax credits granted is capped at $6.25 million per fiscal year.
- Prohibits the credits from being applied against tax liability before July 1, 2014.
- Places a sunset date on the credit of Jan. 1, 2020.
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