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Iowa pays London firm $450,000 to ditch plans for movies filmed in state, avoid tax credits
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) ' The state of Iowa has paid London-based filmmakers $450,000 to cancel plans to shoot movies that could have qualified for millions of dollars in state tax credits.
Midsummer Films and its subsidiaries won approval in 2009 to shoot six films with the help of the state's aggressive tax incentives. But one month later, then-Gov. Chet Culver suspended the program amid mounting evidence of fraud and mismanagement.
Midsummer could have tried to finish the films after the program was reinstated, but state officials pushed them to abandon projects that could have cost Iowa up to $25 million in tax credits.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Thompson says it's better for the state to pay $450,000 to prevent filming and avoid a lawsuit.
Midsummer executives did not return messages seeking comment.