State of incentives: Iowa’s 50%

Iowa, probably known best in filmmaking circles as the location for “Field of Dreams,” enhanced its film and TV incentives July 1 by offering a jaw-dropping 50% tax credit and other benefits.

In short, investors and producers each earn 25% of qualified spending as transferable Iowa income tax credits.

If, for example, a project has $1 million of qualified spending, then the investor pool earns $250,000 in transferable Iowa income tax credit certificates.

Additionally, the producer or production company earns $250,000 in transferable Iowa income tax credit certificates. These credits can be sold to any Iowa taxpayer for market prices.

Other benefits Iowa offers: No caps per project or on program; ongoing spending consultation; rapid credit certificate turnaround; no state permits, no state fees; state property free for locations; lodging tax waived on the 32nd day.

Mike Tramontina, director of the state’s Dept. of Economic Development, said the changes are designed to create a sustainable movie production presence in Iowa that will spur jobs, economic activity, community excitement and tourism.

“The purpose really of what we’re trying to do is build an industry here. We’d love to see somebody build a studio,” said Tramontina.

Since the enhanced incentives were announced, more than 60 proposed projects, mostly features, applied for the incentives.

They include a post-apocalyptic feature, several TV or broadcast interactive game shows, an untitled “field of screams” horror/thriller film, and a mix of romantic, action, comedy and drama genres, according to DED documents.

Reported by Rod Boshart in the Iowa Legislative News