Serious concerns with TN's film incentive programs, say auditors - WSMV Channel 4

Serious concerns with TN's film incentive programs, say auditors

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

An audit released Monday by the state revealed serious concerns with control and oversight of Tennessee's film incentive programs.

The Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission, the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Revenue have failed to ensure that public incentives for filmmaking businesses were properly administered, according to the Comptroller's office.

Auditors said they could find "little to no evidence" that the incentives have led to new film producing facilities or permanent film jobs in Tennessee.

The state passed laws in 2006 that gave the film commission authority to provide certain financial incentives to attract movie production companies to the state. However, auditors said they questioned whether the incentives provided have been properly determined and whether certain incentives intended for filmmaking facilities located in Tennessee have been improperly awarded to out-of-state businesses.

The report said auditors discovered that incentive payments were based on expenditures that "didn't always meet the program's guidelines or have adequate supporting documentation."

The audit also revealed a former executive director had a potential conflict of interest that was not properly disclosed. The former director's spouse worked for a legal firm that was involved with at least three film projects which received incentives.

Read the full audit: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/sa/AuditReportCategories.asp

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