2013 was a year of many changes to the U.S. tax code, and some of the most significant changes were targeted at raising taxes on high-income Americans. The fiscal cliff tax deal created a new 39.6 percent income tax...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Iowa Governor Calls for End to Film Tax Credit Program as...
Iowa Governor Calls for End to Film Tax Credit Program as Separate Trials Ordered
In the ongoing saga of Iowa's criminal investigation of its film tax credit program, the judge has ordered three separate trials for the defendants:
"I think we have to do it. I think that's the right approach," Polk County District Judge Arthur Gamble said in granting defense motions to separate the trials for Wendy Weiner Runge, Matthias Alexander Saunders and Zachary LeBeau, three Minnesota residents each charged with one class B felony count of ongoing criminal conduct and 11 class C felony counts of first-degree fraudulent practices for allegedly making false and inflated claims for state tax credits involving multiple film projects.
The outside auditor's report described a film office in chaos, with fragmentary records, no support staff, and almost no documentation to support the giveaway that could amount to $121 per Iowan. Credits were claimed for non-cash expenses such as "consideration" for having your name in the credits, and even for the costs of brokering the credits. They were also issued in advance of expenses. Strawman Iowa LLCs were used to claim credits for non-Iowa expenses.
The problems in Iowa's tax credit program could easily be found in other states.
Governor Chet Culver now is calling for an end to the film tax credit program:
Governor Chet Culver says once the existing state commitments are met, the state tax credit program for film and TV productions in Iowa should be shut down.
"We're not going to be taken for suckers," Culver told reporters late this morning during a statehouse news conference. "People, unfortunately, exploited that program."
The Iowa Motion Picture Association is calling for the program's continuation.
- Corporate Welfare for Movie Producers Returns to Iowa, by Mark Robyn, August 31, 2010
- Sudden Retirement of Michigan Film Office Director May Be Linked to Tax Credit Boondoggle, by William Ahern, June 18, 2010
- Film Tax Credits Losing Their Appeal, by William Ahern, June 11, 2010
- Criminal Charges Filed Against Ex-Head of Iowa Film Office, Filmmakers, by Joseph Henchman, February 9, 2010
- More on Iowa Film Credits and Why Tax Reform is So Difficult, by Mark Robyn, February 4, 2010
- Film Industry to Iowa: Make Our Corrupt Tax Credit Bigger, by William Ahern, February 4, 2010
- New Podcast: Joe Kristan on Film Tax Credits in Iowa, by Natasha Altamirano, January 20, 2010
- Iowa Governor Appoints Panel to Determine Effectiveness of Tax Credits, by Joseph Henchman, November 25, 2009
- Connecting the Dots in Iowa, by Mark Robyn, October 20, 2009
- Iowa Film Credit Report Reveals More Problems; Criminal Investigation Forthcoming, by Mark Robyn, October 5, 2009
- Iowa Governor Wants a Review of All Tax Credits, by Mark Robyn, September 28, 2009
- Iowa Officials May Be Trying to Get Out of Bad Film Tax Credit Deals, by Mark Robyn, September 24, 2009
- Corruption and Abuse in Iowa's Film Tax Credit Program, by Mark Robyn, September 22, 2009
Get Email Updates from the Tax Foundation
We will never sell or share your information with third parties.
Join the Tax Foundation's fight for sound tax policy Go
About the Tax Policy Blog
The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.