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Iowa Officials May Be Trying to Get Out of Bad Film Tax Credit Deals

1 min readBy: Mark Robyn

Joe Kristan at Tax Update blog reports that the Iowa Department of Economic Development may be backpedaling in an effort to get out of providing taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. credits to over one hundred film projects that have received initial approval. He had this historical insight:

This is starting to remind me of the TouchPlay disaster, where the state quietly paid millions to reimburse slot machine video lottery terminal owners after the state had let them sneak their machines into convenience stores, bars and grocery stores across the state, only to pull them in response to public outrage. The lawsuits will start any time now, and then there will be some big ugly settlement down the road.

The Des Moines Register has a list of the film projects for which credits have been requested or received. There are some interesting titles in there. While the science junkie inside me wants to see Tesla made (assuming it is actually a film about famed inventor, theorist, and purported mad scientist Nikola Tesla), the policy wonk inside me knows that film tax credits are bad tax policy.

More on the Iowa film tax credit controversy.