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Former Louisiana Film Commish Sentenced

Louisiana More troubling news on the tax-incentive front. Just week's after a study showed that Massachusetts' rebates for film and TV production were losing the commonwealth 85 cents on every dollar spent, and with the future of New York's city and state programs still in doubt, now comes word (via Eriq Gardner at THR, Esq.) that the man who recruited film productions to Louisiana as part of that state's incentive effort will serve two years in prison for accepting bribes.

Mark Smith, the former state film commissioner, was the subject of a two-year FBI probe that found he had taken $135,000 in bribes. In sentencing, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt accused Smith of doing harm to the state's film industry. "We live with the damage today," the judge said.

Incentive programs have been a huge boon to actors outside L.A., but this steady drumbeat of bad news is troubling. If governments can't properly implement and manage their programs, it will only embolden critics at a time when most states are looking to make budget cuts wherever they can.

Pictured: The Louisian Capitol Building in Baton Rouge. (Getty Images)

--Daniel Holloway

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