Study Shows Film Industry Tax Incentives Reap Big Pay-Off For New Mexico’s Economy

STATE News:

The New Mexico Film Office reports that a recent state-commissioned study shows that film production spending in New Mexico has created nearly 15,900 well-paying jobs and generated more than $1 billion in economic impact, thus resulting in a positive outcome of film production tax credits.

In 2011 Senate Majority Whip, Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo successfully sponsored Senate Bill 44 (SB44), as part of a ‘cap and study’ compromise to avoid the administration’s proposed cuts to the film incentive program and allowed for the continuation of tax credit rates to the film industry.

The bill requires a detailed analysis of the value of the program to the taxpayers of New Mexico to assure that New Mexico jobs are being created and the state’s economic development is positively impacted.

“This report indicates that the film program is likely the most impactful job creation program in the state. I’m pleased that New Mexicans have evidence that the film industry is important to the state’s economic growth and that we should continue to promote New Mexico as a prime location for film production,” Keller said. “In a time when we have many economic challenges, it is refreshing to know we are doing something very, very well.”

According to the provisions of SB44, the Economic Development Department is required to “collect and track specific statistical information for purposes of reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of the Film Production Tax Credit, with support and assistance from the Legislative Finance Committee staff and the Taxation and Revenue Department.”

Keller, with bipartisan support, also passed similar transparency and accountability legislation for all the state’s tax incentives twice before. Both bills were vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez, leaving the film incentive program as the only program in New Mexico requiring such analysis.

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