Pitch For State Tax Incentives For Movie, TV Productions In Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa — A state tax rebate for film, TV, and documentary productions may be modified and revived on a trial basis — after a 15-year hiatus.

Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and he’s sponsoring a bill to create a two-year, 10-million-dollar pilot project to provide a 30 percent tax rebate for qualified expenses.

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The State of Iowa’s previous tax incentives for TV and film productions were halted in 2009 after auditors found the majority of tax credits were misused. Iowa is now one of 13 states that do not offer tax incentives for film and TV productions. Todd Rognes is chief administrative officer of Renovo Media Group in Clear Lake. He says the company recently helped produce a movie with a script partially set in Iowa, but Hollywood decision-makers chose to have it filmed in Kentucky since that state provides tax incentives for filmmakers.

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Rognes says “Wildcat” — a movie with stars Liam Neesen and Laura Linney that will be released in May — got two million dollars in incentives from Kentucky.

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Lisa Crnic, a Des Moines native, recently joined Renovo as its president after 17 years in Hollywood where she helped develop and produce hits like “Clifford, the Big Red Dog” and “The Smurfs” movie.

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Crnic says they just learned a movie they’d hoped to film in Iowa will be shot in Ireland, due to that country’s incentives for filmmakers.

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Crnic and Rognes made their comments during a presentation to members of the House Ways and Means Committee meeting on Wednesday.



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