For general information regarding economic incentives or available lease space, contact the DDD at DDD2@brla.gov or (225) 389-5520.

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, 2021)

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 Gabriel Vicknair at gvicknair@brla.gov 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 Whitney Hoffman Sayal at wsayal@brla.gov (225) 389-5520 or Kelsea McCrary at kmccrary@crt.la.gov (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 Gabriel Vicknair at gvicknair@brla.gov or (225) 389-5520 for more information.

Economic Development Zone Status

To be eligible for the program, prior notification to the Department of Economic Development is required. An applicant must file an advance notification, with the required $100 processing fee, on the prescribed form prior to starting construction purchasing or installing equipment. In December of 1995, the DDD received designation as an Economic Development Zone (EDZ). The benefits of an Economic Development Zone are as follows:

A $2,500 tax credit for each certified new job. A minimum of five new certified jobs (filled with Louisiana residents) must be created by the project within two years from the effective date of the contract. If a certified employee has been receiving payments under the Aid to Families with Dependant Children Program, an additional $2,500 tax credit may be generated if certain criteria are met.

The tax credits can be used to satisfy state income tax and state franchise tax obligations.
The tax credits may be used in the year that they are generated or rolled over for up to 10 years if a business does not have enough Louisiana state tax liability to use all the credits generated in any one year. A rebate of state sales tax on material used to construct or expand a business as well as machinery and equipment used exclusively on the site is also available.

The Economic Development Zone Status is administered by Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Please contact Gabriel Vicknair at gvicknair@brgov.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 Gabriel Vicknair at gvicknair@brla.gov 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.

Benefits:

  • 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

Eligibility:

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:

https://www.opportunitylouisiana.com/business-incentives/digital-interactive-media-and-software-program

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

Additional Information

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.