Could Lifting Film Subsidy Cap Bring More Jobs to ABQ?

Last week, the Democratic Leadership proposed an economic package in hopes of creating more jobs.  Part of the proposal is a lifting of the $50 million film subsidy for three years in hopes of luring more film/TV jobs to the state.  For one, I believe it could be good for the city as we have hosted many productions in the past and have a strong base of workers.  Last year "In Plain Sight"  ended production and the final season of "Breaking Bad" in currently filming.  Could this incentive provide a boost for the film/TV industry in ABQ?  Where does Mayor Berry stand on this proposal? I was against the change to the subsidy decided in 2012.  If not this, then what could be done in the legislature to improve the job climate in ABQ?

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I'm a big fan of the film subsidy.  Brings a lot of good-paying jobs into the state, ranging from entry level positions to very technical jobs.  It increases our exposure, so that maybe one day people will realize that we are neither in Arizona nor in Mexico.  And, bottom line, the subsidy brings in a LOT more money than it gives up.  If spending a quarter earns you a dollar, isn't that worth it?

Do you have any data showing the subsidy brings in more than it pays out?

If you go to the New Mexico Film Office website and click on incentives then click on statistics, you'll clearly see that we are making money on this endeavor and putting people to work.  I believe with lifting the cap could even bring in more productions, provide more jobs and increase state revenues.

Look at this 2008 report to the state Legislative Finance Committee that says we get about $0.14 on the dollar. Also, read this.

I'm not sure about the direct payback to the state from successful films, but it would seem like subsidiary spending - on services, on lodging and apartment rentals, on restaurants and catering - must far exceed what gets "paid out." Unfortunately, it's also harder to quantify. Tim Keller tried to push for a more thorough investigation of the movie industry's impact on Albuquerque and NM in the midst of the debate a couple years ago, but I don't think he got very far.

As far as paying out goes - remember films are required to repay the state's subsidy regardless of how they do...

They're required to repay the loan if there was one and that's at the prime rate + 1.5%. The 25 percent tax credit is just that.

Another good thing about having a lot of film made here is that actors like good food, and so its a stimulus for our restaurant industry.  I agree with all the arguments for lifting the cap and the benefits it would have, but I do appreciate Gov. Martinez's point that an open ended subsidy creates a great deal of budget uncertainty.  I think a good compromise would be to raise it to $100 million.

I like the compromise, $100 mil sounds great, just dont think our Gov does much compromising. To me she is a do nothing Guv when it comes to the economy.  

I'm really cruddy with numbers.  How much blue meth candy does $100m buy?

Lots of film and TV production in the state is also good for the hotel business, car rental business, house and apt. rentals even the secondhand junk malls do well because they are full of props that the film people need to fill their sets. Martinez needs to wake up and start really supporting the TV/film industry in the state. 

I am torn with the film subsidy. I'd rather see subsidies used for something society needs---like better public transportation or paying for solar panels. How many more crappy hollywood movies do we need?

Interesting story about movie subsidies providing a lung cancer subsidy.


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