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Lawton upset that Doyle cut movie tax credits

Wisconsin's governor angered his own running mate when he decided to drop the state's new movie tax credits from his proposed state budget.

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton said it made no sense and it will guarantee that movies will stop being filmed in the Badger State.

Lawton was among the champions of the tax credits which took effect just over a year ago to encourage Hollywood producers to film here.

But there was lots of criticism when the Johnny Depp movie "Public Enemies" collected almost as much in tax credits as the $5 in economic benefits the filming generated.

And with the budget deficit, Gov. Jim Doyle's spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner said it was imperative to make sure any state tax credits grow jobs and our economy.

Commerce officials said they were disappointed in the movie tax credits, saying they were not as lucrative as other business incentives.

But David Fantle of the Visit Milwaukee group said the program needs time to develop. And he said Doyle's alternative proposal is basically worthless.

It creates a $0.5 million in annual grants for permanent movie jobs in the state.

Senate Republican Ted Kanavas of Brookfield, says he'll try to bring the credits back when the Legislature acts on the budget this spring.