Zero-Percent Movie Loans End

The free ride for New Mexico’s movie industry is slowly coming to an end. As Rob Nikolewski of Capitol Report New Mexico writes:

The State Investment Council (SIC) on Tuesday (March 22) — with Gov. Susana Martinez taking part in the entire four-and-a-half hour meeting — unanimously voted to end the SIC’s practice of granting zero-percent interest loans to film companies who make their movies in New Mexico and also terminated the $260,000-a-year contract for the film consultant whose job was dependent on that practice.

This is an eminently sensible change. The SIC needs to focus on making the best return it possibly can for New Mexicans, not on providing money for preferred industries. Former New Mexico Watchdog Jim Scarantino did a ton of writing and research showing that such efforts by the SIC typically failed and resulted in nothing but ethical problems.

Our position has nothing to do with the film industry per se. Regardless of the industry, it makes no sense to provide zero-interest loans at taxpayer expense (in terms of foregone investment opportunities). Kudos to Gov. Martinez and the SIC.