We will all eat cake. Lots of cake!
The rebate cost us 65 million dollars last year. 72 million the year before. Can you show that the film industry is bringing in more than that? Something that might be seen as a profitable deal for New Mexicans?
I mean yeah, its cool having movie studios down the road where big fancy actors come out and play but most of the jobs created are temporary and most of the people working in those big cool studios live and buy homes in LA.
As for skilled labor- the subcontractors they hire bring most of their own workers. We have a family friend who has done the fancy pyros some the big ones done here in the last few years- Indiana Jones, Transformers, etc- and he did not hire one person from this state and confirmed that the majority of the highly paid off screen people are brought from CA. Yes, they rent apartments and buy food, etc but it is temporary. And do hire some New Mexicans but also temporary, with no benefits and no chance of advancement.
I have yet to see an accounting- an objective one- that shows if the industry really does make money or not.
I could respond to your anecdotal evidence with more anecdotes, but your last point is where we're at right now - there's no objective evidence whether the film rebate program has directly raised state revenues or not. And yes, the nature of the film industry ensures that most jobs - even in LA - are temporary. I am personally aware of many people who make a very good living here in NM because of the film industry, but once again, that's anecdotal evidence. I would add, though, that the economic impact of the film industry extends well beyond those it directly employs - think of all the $$ spent within the local economy on catering, lodging, location scouting, props, costumes, equipment hauling, porta-potties, etc., etc., etc.
I guess your point really speaks to my own - despite the lack of a thorough accounting one way or the other, the state has already decided to weaken the program. Gov. Martinez made a point of it - why? Because it was Richardson's idea? Our economy needs all the help it can get - in the absence of a strong housing recovery, there's just not much driving the bus. It is the height of foolishness to hobble a promising new industry like this without getting a complete balance sheet first.
The problem is that the state offers tax breaks to many industries, and we don't have substantial data on any of them in regard to their true financial impact. Last year the gas and oil industries alone get upwards of $130 million in tax breaks, while the film industry gets $65 million. If you arbitrarily want to get rid of one without proper analysis or based mainly on anecdotes, then please advocate for elimination of all the others. As usual, the real issue is that politics trump looking out for the people of New Mexico. There are ways the governor could have pushed for a lower rate without demonizing the film industry, such as in setting a pro-business tone while advocating for smart use of tax dollars.
In many industries across the nation, we're seeing business folks keeping the government at arms length, mainly because of politicians' inability on both sides of the aisle to negotiate effectively. Today's rhetoric is great for getting elected or staying in power, but hell on getting anything done.