Tuesday, December 28, 2010

[MISP] Legislator wants to get rid of incentive


This was on Channel 13 news last night



NM Film tax breaks to be cut?

Legislator wants to get rid of incentive

Updated: Monday, 27 Dec 2010, 10:19 PM MST
Published : Monday, 27 Dec 2010, 10:19 PM MST

·         Reporter: Alex Tomlin

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) - There's been talk and debate about doing away with the tax breaks used to lure Hollywood to New Mexico.

Now the move to get rid of them is officially underway.

Supporters of the tax breaks said getting rid of them will cost the state a lot more money than it will save.

Officials said New Mexico is holding its own in the film world with major movies like ‘True Grit’ being shot here.

But, one lawmaker said it's costing taxpayers millions we can't afford right now.

State Representative Dennis Kintigh said, “In this time of critical need we can't afford it. We have people being laid off we have people being furloughed, services are being cut while 10's of millions of dollars go to rich Hollywood millionaires.”

Kintigh has written a bill that would ax the film industry tax credit.

For every 100 dollars a film shooting in New Mexico pays in taxes, the production company gets 25 dollars back from the state.

“Over the last two years 135 million dollars have flowed out of the public treasury into the pockets of these film companies,” Kintigh said.

The State Film Office said critics are looking at it all wrong.

“We have to stop talking about just the money that goes out and look at the full equation, which is the money that comes back in,” Lisa Stout with the film office said.

Strout said production companies hire New Mexicans to run sets, rent local hotel rooms,
and eat at local restaurants.

Stout said if the state cuts off the tax incentive now, “We are actually going to lose 10's of millions of dollars in the next year.”

Strout said it's plain and simple, just look at Arizona. Next week the state will no longer give film tax credits.

“We have already had two different inquiries about coming to New Mexico because even though the script takes place in Arizona, that is not a possibility because they do not have a film tax credit,” Stout said.

She said films will move on to one of the 43 other states offering incentives if New Mexico takes the offer off the table.

But, Kintigh said he thinks the industry can survive here without the cash back reward.

“I don't think we are going to miss out on any money, we are going to make money, we are going to stop the bleeding from the state treasury,” Kintigh.

Other state representatives have said they would like to scale back the film industry incentives, but still support offering something to get movies to keep rolling in New Mexico.

The studio behind the avengers just announced it's chosen New Mexico to shoot the blockbuster.

Nearly every state in the country was vying for the highly anticipated acti




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