Duck Dynasty takes $6.2 million from Louisiana taxpayers in film subsidies, leading to calls that the A&E reality show is on a kind of corporate welfare.
A new analysis from the Louisiana Budget Project, a left-leaning non-profit from Baton Rouge, estimates that the reality show has taken more than $6 million in taxpayer subsidies through its first three seasons.
The non-profit cites a June report from The Inquisitr that estimated the show to receive $70,000 per episode from the state of Louisiana. This estimate, which comes from industry experts, is far too low, the Louisiana Budget Project claims.
The report states:
There are only two problems with this coverage: First, it neglects to mention that the state has yet to fork over a dime to the Duck Dynasty producers. That won’t happen until audits are finished. More importantly, it significantly understates the state’s financial exposure, which stands at $6.2 million and is poised to grow significantly.
Duck Dynasty receives “welfare” in the form of tax credits covering 30 cents of every dollar on television production in Louisiana, the Louisiana Budget Project claims. For the Duck Dynasty actors, the deals are even better, with tax credits covering 35 percent of salaries.
This puts the total Duck Dynasty welfare much higher than originally estimated, the non-profit claimed:
Add it all up and Louisiana will pay a little more than $6.2 million for the first 41 episodes of Duck Dynasty, and probably a good deal more once the producers submit their receipts for seasons four through six and beyond.
The organization noted that Duck Dynasty was subsidized $38,433 per episode in season one, $107,328 in season two and $328,521 in season three.
But some disagree that the tax credits taken by Duck Dynasty are comparable to welfare. The Times-Picayune noted that the production contributes more to state coffers than it takes, pointing out that the show has created a tourism hub in the family’s West Monroe hometown. The Robertson family also owns and operate a multi-million dollar business in Louisiana.