DEPARTMENT CHARGED WITH BRINGING BACK THE ONCE BUSTLING FILM INDUSTRY.
In Iowa, many lawmakers’ worst fears came true in 2009 when the state’s film office came under investigation for falsely reporting of costs associated with film tax credit incentives. According to the investigation, approximately $26 million in credits were awarded fraudulently with many of the credits being awarded on non-qualified expenses . Iowa suspended its film tax credit program amid the scandal and many film incentive critics used the scandal to take aim at other state programs. The iconic Iowa countryside seen in “Field of Dreams” was now a far distant memory as the state permanently suspended the program.
Fast forward a couple years and the lessons learned from the ordeal have led to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (IDCA) taking on oversight of filming in the state. The department has been charged with bringing back the once bustling film industry that was awarded approximately $64.9 million in tax credits as of 2009. The IDCA provides resources for filmmakers including production support, location scouting and film permit information and notes that the lower cost of living provides a cost benefit to many smaller productions.
While the prospects of a new tax credit program have been tabled for the near future, the IDCA hopes to build upon Iowa’s past cinematic triumphs through promotion of film festivals and other events. These efforts have already led to a stronger film community as several TV shows, movies and commercials have recently been filming in the state. Many hope that the refreshed industry may one day lead to a renewal of the incentive program.
To see how neighboring state film incentive programs stack up today, please check out our Interactive Film Tax Credit Map and click on the state for more details.