Iowa Gov Wants to End Film, TV Tax Credit
â€śWeâ€™re not going to be taken for suckers,â€ť Culver told reporters late this morning during a statehouse news conference. â€śPeople, unfortunately, exploited that program.â€ť
Culver ordered the program suspended nearly a year ago when problems were publicly disclosed. Last week, the Iowa Department of Economic Development issued state tax credits to two Iowa-based productions that had received initial approval from state officials before Culver suspended the program in mid-September of 2009.
A handful of state officials connected to the film office have been fired or have resigned and charges have been filed against the former film office manager and against filmmakers who sought tax credits for questionable expenditures. The tax credits were created during former Governor Tom Vilsackâ€™s tenure; earlier this year, the Iowa legislature voted to suspend the program until July 1, 2013. Culver today suggested the jobs created by the film and TV productions werenâ€™t the kind of â€śpermanentâ€ť jobs Iowa needs.
â€śUnfortunately, with respect to the film program, people exploited it. They took advantage of it. Iâ€™ve had enough of that,â€ť Culver said. â€śAnd we need to target our state resources in a way that helps create long-term jobs and we have all sorts of opportunities to do that in the biofuels industry, in the wind energy industry, solar. And thatâ€™s where Iâ€™m going to make sure we target those investments.â€ť
TheÂ Iowa Motion Picture Association has said the state tax credits for movie and TV productions in Iowa had a â€śpositive economic impactâ€ť on the state and the group has called for the program to continue.