Buy them a Benz and they will come!

September 18th, 2009 by Joe Kristan

So this is what economic development in Iowa comes down to:

We have heard reports of two vehicles purchased through the tax credit program that were not used directly on a film. Upon learning this management dug into those two projects and was not satisfied with the explanation or the condition of the files and records and determined that procedures had not been followed.

The Code clearly authorizes the purchase of vehicles but the fact they were luxury vehicles (Mercedes and a Land Rover) were not used directly on the film and the amount of credits claimed was the full purchase price rather than the lease cost during the project were judged to be abuses.

This is from a memo by a defender of the Iowa Film Credit corporate welfare giveaway bonanza, released in a Friday bad-news dump late this afternoon. The author, Mike Tramontina, resigned this afternoon as Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. The memo outlined a wonderful list of corruption and waste in this most-prominent of Iowa’s economic development programs. From the memo (my emphasis):

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