For general information regarding economic incentives or available lease space, contact the DDD at DDD2@brla.gov or (225) 389-5520.
2021 Downtown Outdoor Dining Grant
This new grant program through the DDD provides funds to improve or implement new outdoor dining areas for downtown restaurants, bars, cafes, and other dining establishments. The grant offers reimbursement of eligible expenses, as well as technical assistance from DDD staff. An overview of the program includes:
- 50% reimbursement of the cost of approved outdoor dining furniture with proper receipts
- Reimbursement of Sidewalk Café Application fee ($150) and first year permit fees (up to $208)
- Assistance from DDD staff with drafting permit application, including developing layout plans, photographs, and other required supporting materials
- Maximum grant award of $1,500, which includes furniture, application, and first year permit fees
- Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis!
Interested parties can download the full grant program details and application form here. Please contact the DDD at (225) 389-5520 with questions and requests for additional information.
Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit
The program provides a 20% tax credit for rehabilitation expenditures to a certified historic structure.
- The building must be depreciable property–rental or commercial
- Restoration must be substantial–exceeding the adjusted basis of the property (purchase price less value of the land) or a minimum expenditure of $5,000 (if the property has been depreciated)
- Rehabilitation expenditures that qualify include items directly related to the repair of the structure (architectural fees, engineering fees, paint, wiring, plumbing, roof repair, etc)
- The credit can be carried back one year and forward twenty years.
- If a building is not located within an historic district and was constructed prior to 1936, it may qualify for a 10% tax credit if restoration is substantial–exceeding the adjusted basis of the property (purchase price less the value of the land).
The Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program is administered by the Division of Historic Preservation located within the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Please contact the CRT tax incentive program staff at (225) 342-8160 for additional information and eligibility requirements.
Restoration Tax Abatement Program for Improvements to Structures
- When renovation has not yet begun, five-year property tax abatement on improvements to structures is available, with a five-year option for renewal
- Existing structures in downtown, historic, or economic development districts are eligible. Spanish Town and Beauregard Town are included
- Approval must be obtained from the State Board of Commerce and Industry and the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council
The Restoration Tax Abatement Program is administered by Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Contact Becky Lambert at Becky.Lambert@la.gov or (225) 342-6070 for additional information and eligibility requirements.
State Commercial Historic Tax Credits ( Sunsets December 31, 2025)
For historic buildings and residences located in a DDD and classified as historically significant by Louisiana Division of Historical Preservation, the state offers a 25% tax credit based on eligible costs or rehabilitation. This includes labor, materials, and related expenses.
Eligible property includes:
- Buildings must be at least 50 years old to be eligible for the State Commercial Credit
- Residential rental property or nonresidential depreciable property in a DDD
- Properties located within the boundaries of a cultural district or downtown development district are eligible to apply.
- Classified as historically significant by the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
- A credit Cap of five million dollars per taxpayer (or related entity) within any one DDD
- Credits may be carried forward for up to five years and may be sold
- A nominal application fee of $250 is paid to the State Division of Historic Preservation.
The State Commercial Historic Tax Credit Program is administered by the Division of Historic Preservation located within the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Please contact the CRT tax incentive program staff at (225) 342-8160 for additional information and eligibility requirements.
LED Economic Incentives and Small Business Programs
Expanding? Relocating? Starting up? Louisiana's tax credits and incentive programs can give your company a competitive edge. From entrepreneurial startups to small and large business growth and expansion, Louisiana offers a comprehensive array of educational, managerial and financial programs that cultivate business opportunities.
Visit Louisiana Economic Development - https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/business-incentives or contact the DDD firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 389-5520 for more information.
Downtown Cultural District
Exemptions of State and local sales tax on the sale of original, one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork
- The local sales tax exemption applies to businesses with an established location within the Cultural Product District.
- This does not apply to businesses with no fixed locations within the district, such as businesses that would sell at festivals, fairs or other events held in the district
- “Works of art” shall mean visual arts and crafts including but not limited to paintings, photographs, sculpture, pottery, and traditional or fine crafts. (The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism may determine whether or not an item meets this definition as well as whether the item is “original, one-of-a-kind”)
- The seller must complete a sales tax exemption form (R-1384)
The Downtown Cultural District is administered by Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Please contact the DDD at email@example.com or (225) 389-5520 or Francesca Vega at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 342-8161 for additional information and eligibility requirements.
New Market Tax Credit (NMTC)
As one of the most powerful tools in community revitalization, the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program provides investors with federal tax credits for making investments in a wide range of redevelopment projects located in low-income communities. Please contact Whitney Hoffman Sayal at email@example.com or (225) 389-5520 for more information.
Enterprise Zone Tax Credit
The Enterprise Zone, or EZ program is a jobs incentive program that provides Louisiana income and franchise tax credits to a new or existing business located in Louisiana creating permanent net new full-time jobs, and hiring at least 50% of those net new jobs from one of four targeted groups. The benefit provides:
Either a one-time $3,500 or $1,000 tax credit for each net new job created.
A rebate of state sales and use taxes paid on qualifying materials, machinery, furniture, and/or equipment purchased or a 1.5% refundable investment tax credit on the total capital investment, excluding tax exempted items. The rebate shall not exceed $100,000 per net new job.
The EZ program is administered by Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Please contact Whitney Hoffman Sayal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 389-5520 for more information.
Louisiana Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones are a new community development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This new federal capital gains tax incentive program is designed to drive long-term investments to low-income communities. The new law provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest their capital gains into Opportunity Funds, which are specialized vehicles dedicated to investing in designated low-income areas.
There are 150 census tracts in Louisiana that are qualified opportunity zones. These low-income tracts were nominated by Gov. John Bel Edwards and certified by the Secretary of the Treasury. Louisiana’s 150 tract recommendations were determined based on a strategic review of feedback from local, state and federal elected officials; economic and community development organizations; private developers; private equity firms; non-profit organizations; churches; and individuals. LED’s review and comprehensive analysis considered the following factors:
- the potential for development based on known certified sites, tracts of land, or buildings within the eligible census tract
- proximity to regional assets (ports, airports, industrial parks, tech parks, colleges and universities, etc.)
- opportunities to leverage other designations such as NMTC or Enterprise Zones
- that coverage included a mix of tracts - some with high potential for economic development and others with high potential for community development (e.g. affordable housing, redevelopment, mixed use real estate, and any other types of quality of place enhancements)
- the end goal to ensure a fair and balanced distribution of zones across each of the eight economic development regions of the state
- the end goal to ensure adequate coverage in both rural and urban areas.
The Louisiana Opportunity Zone Map
Please contact Whitney Hoffman Sayal at email@example.com or (225) 389-5520 for more information.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
TIF is a method to use future gains in taxes to finance current improvements, ultimately increasing the value of surrounding real estate, and new investment. Tax Increment Financing has been used as a subsidy for redevelopment on several Downtown projects. The application of Tax Increment Financing for Downtown development is very project specific. Please contact Whitney Hoffman Sayal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 389-5520 for more information.
Digital Media and Software Incentive
The Digital Media and Software Incentive provides a tax credit of 25% of qualified production expenditures for state-certified digital interactive productions in Louisiana and 35% tax credit for payroll expenditures for Louisiana residents.
- 25% tax credit for digital interactive media expenditures made in Louisiana
- a 35% tax credit on payroll expenditures for Louisiana residents
- No annual cap on tax credits
- The tax credit can be sold or applied against Louisiana tax liability
Louisiana’s Digital Media and Software Incentive is available to businesses in the digital media and software industry that develop products including video games, simulation/training software and social media applications.
This tax credit does not apply to software developed for institutional, private or internal purposes, or largely static Internet sites designed to provide information about a person, business, company or firm. The tax credit does not apply to products regulated under the Louisiana Gaming Control Law.
For more information please visit:
Federal Opportunity Zones
The Opportunity Zones program is a brand new federal program aimed at encouraging long-term, private capital investment in America's low-income urban and rural communities with new tax incentives.
The primary attraction for investing in Opportunity Zones is deferring and lowering federal taxes on capital gains. For a qualified Opportunity Zones investment, capital gains taxes may be deferred the first five years; after Year 5, taxes may be cancelled on 10 percent of the original capital gains investment and deferred for the remainder; in year 10, taxes may be cancelled on 15 percent of the original capital gains investment, and the remainder may be deferred through 2026; for Opportunity Zones, investments lasting longer than 10 years, investors are exempt from capital gain taxes on the Opportunity Zones investment itself, in addition to the other benefits for capital gains carried into the investment.
Louisiana secured U.S. Department of the Treasury certification for 150 lower-income census tracts to be Opportunity Zones. To attract new investment to underdeveloped areas, the federal government created the Opportunity Zones Program as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Eligible investments will be those made for ownership of business real estate, capital and other assets by a partnership or a corporation formed for the purpose of investing in qualified Opportunity Zones property.
For additional information contact the DDD at (225) 389-5520, phone (202) 653-0406, or email: OpportunityZone@cdfi.treas.gov
In addition to the aforementioned incentives, the Downtown Development District is currently working with the City of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Louisiana Economic Development and private sector partners to design new incentives for downtown development. Stay tuned for new updates and announcements regarding economic incentives for Downtown.
For additional information contact the Downtown Development District at DDD2@brla.gov or (225) 389-5520.