Iowa AG investigates state's film office

By Ashley Stinnett | Oct 6, 2009


DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller on Monday announced his office is opening criminal investigations into the State's film office tax credit program.

Miller is working to recover any tax credits or funds obtained illegally or not in compliance with the Film Office statute, according to Miller.

"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," Miller said in a statement.

Miller added that while the state is not permitted to share details of the investigation, they are providing information about an ongoing review of the film office's tax credit program.

The State 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, according to Miller.

Miller said his office is currently working with the Governor, the State Auditor, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Economic Development in reviewing the possible misuse of funds.
The Film Office tax Credit program was suspended by Gov. Chet Culver on Sept. 18 and remains frozen until the investigation is complete.

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