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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More jobs in NM is a good thing...but is this just another form of corporate welfare?

It seems that when corporations get tax breaks and incentives, there's usually a lot of outcry.

There doesn't seem to be much outcry from the public.  Maybe it's because hollywood is soooo cool.

Or maybe it's because NM's economy is doing soooo badly that anything with the potential to bring skilled, highly-paid jobs into the state is worth the investment...

I think what you are saying is fair. My question would be, what are the other alternatives that might also bring in high skilled jobs? What if we pumped 100 million per year into technology research at our main universities? Maybe we find the cure for cancer at UNM.

I would love to see that too.

I agree wholeheartedly with something like this. For one, I dont think our Guv or Mayor has the vision to think and act in these terms and the Dems dont have the balls to propose such sweeping and progressive ideas. 

Good point well taken on the corporate welfare angle of this issue of film subsidies.  I am always fearful of the tax breaks we give the corp to come in create jobs, make a profit then leave the state and people out of work.  But I do feel this subsidy helps the local economy in multiple areas such, as food, rentals, etc.(as stated by others above).

While I am somewhat in favor of film subsidies, you do have to consider that it doesn't really bring long term jobs into the state--and the production companies still bring in their department heads and key crew, thus not giving New Mexicans the highest paying jobs--even though there are many New Mexicans perfectly qualified to do those jobs.  So that's the downside.  Plus, the film industry will go anywhere they are offered the best subsidy--so more desperate states will offer a better subsidy and lure them away and then NM is tempted to offer even a certain point it does just become corporate welfare.

I guess the state and others are held hostage to the corporate dollar.  How do we as a state balance that out where there is a benefit to the state, ie providing jobs, pumping $ into the local economy, and a profit for the corporation?  I still believe a temporary adjustment to the film subsidy at this time, when our economy is in the tank, is not a bad thing.  The state already has the program in place.

That's my concern as well, short term work. Are there local crew requirements for the subsidy? Another concern is that a lot of these people come here and say horrible things about the state (Breaking Bad is a possible exception, although,  I believe Aaron Paul even had an incident). It hasn't always been a good PR move. 

Professors at our universities are struggling to apply for grants to do research, and have heavy teaching loads. It seems to me that more money invested in our universities, both for research and education, would have a much stronger long-term benefit than films.

Plus, professors spend money in the economy.

I say, why cant we do both.  Again, I don't believe our Guv has a vision on how best to use our universities to benefit the state economy and as a republican I dont think she see the value of using public tax dollars in promoting educational research.  I can almost hear her say: Let the universities do it on their own and allow the private sector do the investing and provide the grants.

In a state so desperately starved for jobs, why would we even think of discouraging investment in the film industry? Yes, every other state that competes for film industry money offer incentives, but if you consider the fact that we have an established, skilled workforce, service suppliers, and post-production facilities here already, the attraction to out of state producers is obvious. Also, it's an easy flight from LAX to Albuquerque, something that Hollywood producers no doubt appreciate. Take a look at how New Mexico lags behind every other state in the region in regards to job creation (we lost jobs last year while every one of our neighboring states added jobs) and it seems pretty clear that having film jobs here is a good thing. As far a corporate welfare goes, the energy industry benefits far greater from tax incentives and subsidies than the film industry does, by a big margin (according to a NY Times report in December 2012, the amount was $163 million to oil, gas and mining vs. $36 million to the film industry.) Let's not even start talking about the difference in environmental impact between the two industries.


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