Two weeks ago, both the Director and Deputy Director of the Iowa
Department of Economic Development (IDED), Mike Tramontina and Vince
Lintz, resigned abruptly, and the manager of the Iowa Film Office, Tom Wheeler, was forced to step down following allegations of corruption and abuse of public funds. Specifically, an internal IDED audit discovered issues with the state’s film tax credit including improper oversight,
the purchase of luxury vehicles unnecessary for the completion of
films, and filmmakers claiming payments for multiple production jobs.
The budget news is grim in some states. Twenty states face a combined
budget shortfall of at least $35 billion for 2009, according to analysis by the Center on Budget Policy & Priorities (see CBPP graph below). Another 8 states will likely have budget problems next year or the year after.