A spokesperson with the Iowa Department of Economic Development says applications for 109 film projects [Download Excel file] in Iowa have been approved to receive tax credits. However, Erin Seidler says those are only applications, not contracts, so the state is not under any obligation to those projects – even if they’re already filming in Iowa.
“The productions may move forward before they have a contract with the state and that is their option to do that,” Seidler told Radio Iowa. “But, it does not mean they have a guaranteed contract with the state because their application was approved.” Most of those 109 film projects are counting on the tax credits at the end of production.
Meanwhile, there are 26 projects that do have signed contracts with the state and are due to receive an estimated $78-million in tax credits. Nearly two dozen other projects have been completed and awarded tax credits. Seidler says tax credits worth $32-million have been issued to 22 film projects.
The state is investigating alleged abuse of the tax credit program by movie makers and if contracts were improperly approved by a state employee. Iowa Film Office manager Tom Wheeler was fired earlier this week. The director and deputy director of the IDED, which has oversight of the Film Office, have both resigned.
“As we’re moving forward in this investigation and we are handling some of the issues that were going on in the Iowa Film Office, we want to make sure it’s clear what the actual liability is to the state of Iowa at this point and it is just to those projects that are under contract,” Seidler said.