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September 23rd, 2009

Rants Demands Answers from IDED over Film Tax Credit Scandal

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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rants2Rants Press Release from this morning:

While much of the attention surrounding the scandal at the Iowa Film Office is surrounding how did a Mercedes and Range Rover get purchased – there are bigger questions that demand answers. This morning I submitted ten questions and requests for information to the Department of Economic Development and the Department of Revenue and Finance,” said Rants My concern is the impact to taxpayers and Culver’s budget deficit.” said Rep. Chris Rants, candidate for Governor from Sioux City.

There is plenty of time to assign blame and point fingers later. Today the focus needs to be on what happens next, and the impact this will have on the FY 09, FY 10 and FY 11 budgets. The books haven’t been closed on last year’s budget yet, and we already know this year started out in a hole. What I want to know is how much more will have to be cut from the budget because of Culver’s lack of oversight.”

A Taxpayer’s List of Questions and Requests for Information for Governor Culver and the Iowa Department of Economic Development Regarding the Iowa Film Tax Credit

1. Provide a list of tax credit certificates issued prior to July 1, 2009 with the amount in which they were issued. The names of the recipients may be redacted.

2. Provide a list of tax credit certificates issued after July 1, 2009 with the amount in which they were issued.

3. If the REC assumed the amount of tax credits for FY 09 was $18 M, and the credits issued prior to July 1 exceeds that amount; how will this impact the ability of the state to close the books on the FY 09 fiscal year? Will adjustments be made and how?

4. If the cap of $50M of tax credits issued after July 1 for FY 10 was exceeded, and this is the number built into the budget and revenue estimate, how will the Governor reduce the general fund budget to put it back into balance?

5. Have tax credit certificates been awarded for FY 2011 and beyond? If so, how much of the $250M five-year cap ($50M each year for 5 years) has been awarded?

6. How many tax credit certificates have been sold to third parties and reported to the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance?

7. How are the tax credit certificates authenticated? Are copies kept at the IDED or the IDORF?

8. Can the IDED or the IDORF provide a list of Iowa banks that provided loans to film companies based on the award of the tax credit certificate?

9. Why was an independent audit done rather than using the office of the Iowa State Auditor?

10. How many credit certificates have been redeemed to date? Does IDED or IDORF have a schedule of anticipated redemptions?

All of this information should be publicly available, though some names may be redacted as is customary with disclosure of the amount of Research and Development Tax Credits.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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