Zurik: In-state or out-of-state expenses? Horizon docs raise mor - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Zurik: In-state or out-of-state expenses? Horizon docs raise more questions

  • Zurik: In-state or out-of-state expenses? Horizon docs raise more questionsMore>>

  • Zurik: State IG questions former Horizon workers about spending allegations

    Zurik: State IG questions former Horizon workers about spending allegations

    Wednesday, September 9 2015 4:29 PM EDT2015-09-09 20:29:45 GMT
    Louisiana's inspector general has ramped up his investigation into a local production company, following a series of FOX 8 investigations.more>>
    Louisiana's inspector general has ramped up his investigation into a local production company, following a series of FOX 8 investigations.more>>
  • Zurik: The $5 million show that wasn't

    Zurik: The $5 million show that wasn't

    Wednesday, February 18 2015 1:09 PM EST2015-02-18 18:09:30 GMT
    Our "Easy Money" series has led us to the expenses claimed by a particular production company for the making of a six-episode realty TV series on the Saints' dance team. Only three episodes were ever made - but the entire production netted the company owner more than a million in state film tax credits. The State Film Office itself didn't question those costs; we did.more>>
    Our "Easy Money" series has led us to the expenses claimed by a particular production company for the making of a six-episode realty TV series on the Saints' dance team. Only three episodes were ever made - but the entire production netted the company owner more than a million in state film tax credits. The State Film Office itself didn't question those costs; we did.more>>
  • LED says FOX 8 info lead to new state probe of Horizon credits

    LED says FOX 8 info lead to new state probe of Horizon credits

    Friday, February 27 2015 3:29 PM EST2015-02-27 20:29:46 GMT
    State economic development officials acknowledge that the inspector general's office has been asked to investigate all Horizon Entertainment productions that received film production tax credits, following a series of reports by FOX 8 investigators.more>>
    State economic development officials acknowledge that the inspector general's office has been asked to investigate all Horizon Entertainment productions that received film production tax credits, following a series of reports by FOX 8 investigators.more>>
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

Horizon received tax credits based on an audit that it submitted to the state.FOX 8 reviewed that audit as part of documentation about the company that the State Film Office handed over to us.

Horizon split its audit into two sections, Louisiana expenses and non-Louisiana expenses. Remember: They only receive credits for the money spent in state.

Horizon says it spent $1.5 million out of state. $3.4 million in state. Horizon wrote that "almost all expenditures were incurred in the state." But they chose not to receive tax credits on any of those expenses.

“It's hard to swallow something like that,” says CPA Patrick Lynch, who examined the state's documentation for FOX 8. “If you're entitled to something, an expense, and as I say the film credits are predicated on the expenditures, you're not going to let that go away. You're in business to make money, and it's competitive. You don't have money to let slide.”

Horizon reported $90,000 out-of-state spending on car and van rental, $97,000 on hotel rooms and corporate housing, and $10,000 on travel and airfare during the regular season, even though the Saintsations don't travel to away games. $21,000 went to gifts, Horizon says for the Saintsations. But the former Saintsation we talked to says they got nothing.

They put down $18,000 in meals, large purchases at the Apple Store, Rouses, and $7,000 for scissor lifts.

But show editor John Beyer says he never saw a scissor lift for Saintsational. “No. i would remember if usable shot from scissor lift. Beyer says. “We would have used it.”

The state ignored the out-of-state spending, because they said it didn't figure into the overall tax credits. The non-Louisiana expenditures factored in to the overall money he got from the state.

The state is wrong because they didn't look at this. Horizon charged a creative supervisor or executive fee, 10 percent of the overall budget, in-state and out-of-state spending. So that $5 million budget led to a $500,000 fee. If the overall expenditure would have been lower, the fee would have dropped.

Horizon received credits off that $500,000 fee. The cost to taxpayers was $150,000.

Lynch says someone else needs to look at this audit. “Nothing really makes sense,” he says. “There are red flags flying all over it. I think you need another auditor looking at this.”

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.

  • Zurik: In-state or out-of-state expenses? Horizon docs raise more questionsMore>>

  • Easy Money

    Easy Money web section

    Incentives. Subsidies. Corporate welfare. Call them what you will, but the state writes the checks every year, and everyone from oil and gas giants to film and TV producers is getting millions from Louisiana tax coffers.more>>
    Incentives. Subsidies. Job Creators. Corporate welfare. Call them what you will, but the state writes the checks every year, and everyone from oil and gas giants to film and TV producers is getting millions from Louisiana tax coffers.more>>
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Driver sought in crash that killed three children

    Driver sought in crash that killed three children

    Sunday, March 26 2017 2:11 AM EDT2017-03-26 06:11:41 GMT
    File photoFile photo

    The Mississippi Highway Patrol is looking for a driver who ran away from the scene of a deadly crash in George County. Three children were killed in the crash. Troopers said a green 2003 Kia Optima was heading east on Highway 198, east of Depot Road, shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday.

    more>>

    The Mississippi Highway Patrol is looking for a driver who ran away from the scene of a deadly crash in George County. Three children were killed in the crash. Troopers said a green 2003 Kia Optima was heading east on Highway 198, east of Depot Road, shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday.

    more>>
Powered by Frankly