Monday, October 05, 2009

Report on Film Tax Credit Progam

The report is out on Iowa's controversial film tax credit program. I'm working on a story for tv later. But here's the report if you want to read it. The attorney general's office offered the first comments on it:

Statement of the Attorney General’s Office

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Attorney General’s Office, Polk County Attorney’s Office, State Division of Criminal Investigation and State Auditor are undertaking a criminal investigation related to the Iowa Film Office tax credit program.
We are not permitted by ethical rules to discuss the possible subjects, focus or other details of the investigation. We are permitted to provide information about other aspects of our ongoing review of the Film Office tax credit situation, which was requested by Governor Culver. We are working intensively on this review.
The Attorney General’s Office will work to recover any tax credits or funds obtained illegally or not in compliance with the Film Office statute. Approximately $32 million in tax credits have been issued, and we will review them in detail and seek recovery wherever they were obtained in violation of the law.
The preliminary, outside review has been completed by the Clifton Gunderson firm, and we understand the State Auditor will undertake a full examination of the Film Office tax credit program. The Attorney General’s Office continues to coordinate and work closely with the Governor, the State Auditor, the Dept. of Revenue, and the Dept. of Economic Development in reviewing the overall matter.
The Governor handled this well by acting quickly and decisively, referring the matter to the other state agencies, taking the personnel actions he took, and freezing the tax credit program.
The Film Office Tax Credit program, which was suspended by the Governor on Sept. 18, remains suspended. Given the problems that we have encountered, and the amount of money at stake, it was imperative that the Governor suspend the program on Sept. 18, and continue to suspend the program.
The Attorney General’s Office has found the statute regarding tax credits was not implemented properly in at least several ways: investment tax credits were not calculated according to the statute; expenses were not adequately vetted and verified; projects were not justified in terms of their economic benefit to the State compared to their cost; and the definition of “investment” sometimes was improperly applied.

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