Lights, cameras, signature. Governor Chet Culver will soon sign a bill into law that will create new state incentives in hopes of luring filmmakers to Iowa. The Iowa Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to provide a tax credit to investors in Iowa-made movies, as well as a tax break on the goods and services movie companies use while filming here.
Senator Bill Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, says it’s one of the most aggressive incentive packages in the nation. "With attracting that industry, we also retain some of the most talented and skilled young people who want to get a career in this arena," Dotzler says.
All but two senators voted for the bill. Senators Herman Quirmbach of Ames ad David Hartsuch of Bettendorf voted against it. Quirmbach says the state would be better off giving tax credits to Mainstreet businesses that retain workers long after a film has wrapped. But Dotzler says the payoff for having a movie film here is enormous.
According to Dotzler, about a million dollars was spent in the Cedar Rapids area by the folks who made "The Final Season" — a baseball movie Dotzler describes as "low budget." Dotzler argues a movie filmed in Iowa can have an "echo effect" when it comes to tourism. Dotzler said buses are still making treks to the baseball field near Dyersville where "The Field of Dreams" was filmed. That’s also the case in Madison County, according to Dotzler, as fans go to see the "Bridges" that were featured in the movie and the book.