LAFAYETTE, La. -- Today, Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Stuller Inc. Founder and Chairman Matt Stuller at the company's Lafayette headquarters to sign SB 135 by Sen. Dan Claitor into law, part of the Governor's 2011 legislative package, which extends Louisiana's Research and Development Tax Credit for another six years. The state's R&D tax credit has spurred growth at more than 200 companies in the past three fiscal years alone.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said, "Research and development work is the lifeblood of innovative companies. By extending Louisiana's R&D Tax Credit through 2019, we're sending a signal that we want to encourage companies to spend more on innovation and to find new ways to be more competitive in the marketplace. By focusing as a state on research and development, we're helping to create a new generation of jobs and greater opportunity for Louisiana's economy."
Louisiana converted its R&D incentive from a transferable tax credit to a refundable one in 2009, allowing companies more flexibility in obtaining a refund. Since that change, the number of applicants for the credit has increased significantly.
Stuller, which employs 1,200 people at its Lafayette headquarters, used the incentive for advanced manufacturing research and development. The company applied credits to more than $6 million in qualified R&D spending over a recent two-year period.
"Louisiana's manufacturing R&D tax credits make Stuller much more competitive as we vie in the global jewelry market with innovative and revolutionary technologies," said Matt Stuller.
Sen. Dan Claitor said, "The research and development credits we passed in the Legislature will work to continue the progress we've made in innovation around the Capitol Region, as well as the rest of Louisiana. By growing and cultivating the industries of the future -- we're working to make sure Louisiana is a part of the growth that accompanies the successes of research and development companies, which benefits all of us."
Larger companies like Stuller Inc. can qualify for an 8 percent tax credit, while smaller companies (50 to 100 employees) can qualify for 20 percent tax credits and still smaller, emerging R&D firms can obtain a tax credit of up to 40 percent.
The approximately 200 companies that have utilized the R&D tax credit in the past three fiscal years have obtained credits valued at $30.6 million, which spurred R&D spending in the state of $483.4 million. Since 2007, the R&D tax credit has supported more than 5,000 jobs in Louisiana. For every $1 issued in tax credits, some $34 in overall economic output is generated in the state, Louisiana Economic Development estimates.
To learn more about Louisiana's Research and Development Tax Credit, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com and click on state business incentives.
Stuller Inc. employs 1,500 people worldwide and 1,200 people at its Lafayette headquarters. Founded by Matt Stuller in 1970, the company provides more than 200,000 products and services to more than 40,000 independent retail jewelers worldwide. In 2005, Stuller became one of only 80 Diamond Trading Company Sightholders worldwide who receive rough diamonds directly from the world's leading rough diamond supplier. In 2009, Stuller formed a strategic partnership with Gemvision Corp. that led to the jewelry industry's first Apple iPhone application, Live Diamond Try On, and to a revolutionary 3D jewelry design software program, CounterSketch Studio. For more information, visit www.stuller.com.