Costs and Incentives

The metro New Orleans area, which includes St. Charles, is among the lowest in the nation in respect to overall business operating costs.

The region’s cost of living is less than other southern metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Nashville, Tampa and Miami. Labor costs on average are considerably lower than most metropolitan areas of comparable size. An office space lease cost in the New Orleans area is 16 percent below the national average and is among the lowest in the South. The average industrial building lease price (on a net basis) is only 68 percent of the average for southern metropolitan areas.

Labor and rental costs for operating a 200,000 square foot warehouse/distribution center are 12 percent lower than the national average. Combining these low labor and real estate costs with below national average costs for electricity and natural gas yields a significant advantage for profitable business investment.

Tax Costs

Sales Tax State: 4.45 percent | Local: 5 percent

Land     10 percent of its "fair market value" or "use value"
Residential Improvements 10 percent of "fair market value"
Commercial Property (including personal property) 15 percent of "fair market value"
Commercial Land 10 percent of "fair market value"
West Bank 118.58
East Bank 118.23
State (single, married filing separately, or head of household)
2 percent
First $12,500
4 percent
Next $37,500
6 percent
More than $50,000
Married (filing jointly or qualified surviving spouse)
2 percent
First $25,000
4 percent
Next $75,000
6 percent
More than $100,000
No local personal income tax

$1.50 For each $1,000 or major fraction thereof up to $300,000
$3.00 For each $1,000 or major fraction thereof in excess of $300,000
**The initial corporation franchise tax is $110
No local corporation franchise tax

Tax Incentives

  • Industrial Tax Exemption: Manufacturers receive a property tax exemption for a five-year period, renewable for an additional five years. Exemptable property includes buildings, machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures for a new expanded or renovated facility.
  • Louisiana Quality Jobs: Eligible companies may receive a rebate of up to 6 percent of their payroll for 10 years and a refund of state sales and use taxes on purchases of building construction materials, machinery and equipment.
  • Enterprise Zone: Provides a one-time $2,500 tax credit for each net new permanent job created ($5,000 for aviation / aerospace industries). In addition, companies receive refunds on state sales and use taxes on purchases of building construction materials, machinery and equipment.
  • Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive: Provides a 25 percent tax credit for qualified production expenditures and a 35 percent tax credit for resident labor expenditures.
  • Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit: A transferable tax credit of 30 percent for qualified motion picture production expenditures and an additional 5 percent tax credit for resident labor expenditures.
  • Research and Development Tax Credit: Provides a tax credit up to 40 percent to existing businesses with operating facilities in Louisiana to establish or continue research and development activities within the state.  
  • Technology Commercialization Tax Credit and Jobs Program: Provides a 40 percent refundable tax credit for companies that invest in the commercialization of Louisiana technology and a 6 percent payroll rebate for the creation of new, direct jobs.
  • Modernization Tax Credit: Provides a 5 percent refundable state tax credit for manufacturers making capital investments to modernize or upgrade existing facilities in Louisiana. 

Financial Incentives

  • Industrial Revenue Bonds: This program allows parishes, cities, port authorities, development boards and the Louisiana Public Facilities Authority to issue up to $10 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance construction and equipping new or expanding manufacturing facilities.
  • Revolving Loan Fund: Small businesses may receive a loan up to $250,000 at 4 percent interest.

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