More on Iowa Film Credits and Why Tax Reform is So Difficult

February 4, 2010

Bill Ahern blogged earlier on a bill introduced in the Iowa General Assembly last week would eliminate the state’s $50 million film tax credit program. As Bill notes, the tax credit for movie productions has become a poster child for tax subsidy corruption and abuse. Corruption and abuse aside, film tax credits are a bad use of tax policy. See why here.

The day after the bill was introduced representatives from various film industry organizations showed up at a House Economic Growth Committee hearing to beg lawmakers not to repeal their special tax break. This provides a lesson that helps answer the question of why many tax expenditures are so hard to get rid of. The benefits are concentrated within a relatively small pool of individuals or businesses, in this case mostly the filmmakers, that will fight tooth and nail to keep their carve-outs, while the costs are dispersed among the rest of the taxpayers who individually are not likely to have a large incentive to fight the special interests. Hopefully Iowa’s lawmakers have the rest of the taxpayers in mind and will repeal the film tax credit.

Was this page helpful to you?


Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles