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Governor's budget limits state filming incentives

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River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Movie promoters wonder if one hand knows what the other one is doing in Madison.

Scott Robbe of Film Wisconsin says it's curious that the state Tourism Department is promoting the sites where Public Enemies was filmed, while the governor and the Commerce Department want to drop the tax credits that made the Johnny Depp movie possible.

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The state paid almost as much to the film's producers, as the producers spent while they were here.

And as a result, the governor's new budget limits state filming incentives to a $0.5 million for projects which create permanent jobs.

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee will consider Jim Doyle's plan Thursday.

And Rep. Democrat Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, has proposed restoring the credits, with certain limits.

Meanwhile, state tourism officials say they'll keep doing what they can to promote Wisconsin's role in the movies and that means getting people to the nine places in the state where Public Enemies left their marks.

Dave Fantle of Visit Milwaukee said he knew such a film could bring in big tourist dollars especially after neighboring Iowa attracts thousands to the sites where Field of Dreams and Bridges of Madison County were filmed.

Fantle says a movie like that is "the gift that keeps on giving."

But commerce officials say it still doesn't take away the fact that the movie tax credits create only one job for every 20 manufacturing jobs which similar tax credits create.

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