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Movie group says Wisconsin is losing millions in business

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Movie group says Wisconsin is losing millions in business
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The head of a group that encourages movie producers to film in Wisconsin says the state is losing tens of millions of dollars in business.

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That's after Gov. Jim Doyle proposed to end the unlimited film tax credits, and instead give a $0.5 million a year in incentives.

Some lawmakers are trying to restore the tax break.

But Scott Robbe of Film Wisconsin says the damage has already been done.

The movie "Nephilim" has decided to go elsewhere, even though it was approved for about $800,000 in Wisconsin tax credits.

A pilot for the CBS show "The Good Wife" decided to film in Vancouver instead of Milwaukee.

Robbe said state officials did not act quickly enough on the show's request for tax credits, so they'll spend about $30 million elsewhere to shoot 13 episodes.

But state commerce officials said the producers decided to go to Vancouver before even contacting their agency.

Deputy Commerce Secretary Aaron Olver says the state remains interested in helping producers. He says a couple smaller productions have applied for incentives and a decision on those is expected soon.

The governor proposed the reduction after the Johnny Depp movie "Public Enemies" got $4.6 million in tax credits last year, just short of the $5 million it spent here.

But the Film Wisconsin group said there are a lot more success stories from the tax credits that began in 2008. It said eight movies have been shot here since then, along with 16 TV shows, three national commercials and two video games.

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