Vote 4 NM: Tax incentives for the film industry | KOB 4

Vote 4 NM: Tax incentives for the film industry

Danielle Todesco
October 31, 2018 10:31 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— New Mexico has made its mark on the film industry, but it didn’t happen overnight.


The state film tax incentives were put in place in 2002.

In 2011, Governor Susana Martinez placed a $50 million annual cap on the incentives.

The state has hit the cap every year since it was put in place.

In 2017, 74 different projects claimed every cent of the $50million.

Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada, who played Gomie on Breaking Bad, is not in favor of a cap.

He argues that the return on the tax incentives makes the investment worth it.

“They dump a lot of money here, not just for the crews and the actors and all that, but the hotels and the restaurants and cars,” Quezada said.

The state film office puts a number on the return of investment.

According to their statistics, New Mexico has received more than $234 million in direct spending into the economy from film projects in this fiscal year.

In the fiscal year 2017, there was nearly $506 million in direct spending into the New Mexico economy.

Other States & The Film Industry gave Kentucky five stars, naming it the best state to film in.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, a state board in Kentucky approved nearly $430 million in potential tax incentive payouts, with no cap, through 2022.

However, Kentucky's governor wants to hit the pause button on the program.

Georgia does not have a film credit cap, but production companies must spend at least $500,000 to qualify for the credit.

What do the New Mexico's gubernatorial candidates think about the cap?

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to remove the cap in New Mexico.

“The film tax credits are important and capping them makes no sense,” she said. “We are signaling to production companies all across the United States, frankly internationally, that we really aren't a place to do business and allowing another state like Georgia, really, to steal our thunder.”

Republican Steve Pearce does not want to remove the cap, but he said he would consider raising it.

“Other states have stopped supporting the film industry totally, I wouldn't recommend that,” he said. “I would be interested in a discussion in raising the cap, somewhat, but I want to support the film industry. It's one that I think gives New Mexico a really good flavor and gives us a chance to show the world who we are and what we are.”

The state has hit the cap every year since it was put in place.  In 2013, Governor Martinez signed the "Breaking Bad" bill into law, increasing the tax credit to 30% for productions that spend more than 6 months filming in New Mexico.


Danielle Todesco

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