Iowa’s attorney general announced this afternoon the suspension of the state tax credit program for filmmakers has been lifted. The state will honor agreements with movies and television productions that have already been approved for tax credits. However, no new applications will be registered until lawmakers review the program.
Governor Chet Culver suspended the state tax credit program for filmmakers in September after problems in the state film office were publicly revealed. The criminal investigation of the film office continues, according to a statement from the attorney general.
The attorney general held a news conference at 3:15 p.m. in his office to brief reporters on today’s development. According to one estimate, movie and TV productions which had already received certificates for state film tax credits could claim up to $32 million from the state. State officials say about $9 million in credits was “in the pipeline” when the program was suspended in September, while the other $23 million was “in limbo” because of the suspension.
“The Attorney General has determined that the state is legally obligated to move forward with existing contracts and approved applications. However, no new applications for film tax credits will be accepted until the program is reviewed by the legislature,” Governor Chet Culver said in a written statement, issued about an hour after Miller’s news conference.
Culver said he had directors Department of Economic Development Director Fred Hubbell to “work with the Attorney General, Department of Revenue and the State Auditor to ensure there will be extensive fiscal and legal oversight” of state tax credit program.
“The days of out of state companies fleecing Iowans are over, and by halting the film tax credit program, I protected Iowa’s taxpayers,” Culver said in the written statement.
(This story was updated at 4:26 p.m.)