Governor John Bel Edwards has made changes to a program that gives manufactures significant tax exemptions. His executive order lets local governing bodies have a say in how the exemptions are handed out, and requires companies applying to show they are creating or retaining jobs.

Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson says,
“When industry is moving into a parish, utilizing the roads, the schools, the water and putting a demand in that parish, it seemed more appropriate for that parish to have a voice.”

Pierson says before the executive order there was no requirement for a company to make a commitment to jobs or investment. He says all the company had to do was prove to be a manufacturer to receive the industrial tax exemption.

“This closes that detail element and requires that the company say we’re going to create X number of net new jobs, we’re going to make this kind of investment, this is what we’re bringing to the table.”

Pierson says LED wants to make sure we’re attracting manufacturing companies that are good for the economy, local governments and communities. He says 38 other states give local oversight on the local exemption process.

“Now, perhaps Ascension Parish is in competition with St. James Parish. All the opportunity that’s there remains there, it’s simply we’ve added to the players at the table.”