NM Film Office “Study” Attempts to Justify Subsidies

Another study of New Mexico’s film subsidy program has been released. This one is by the Film Office itself (so we KNOW it is an honest assessment, lol). You can read one media report here.

Essentially, the Film Office report appears to be a response to the Legislative Finance Committee’s report which was released in September of 2023 and largely trashed film subsidies as being an inefficient economic development tool.

So, do you believe the study from an agency whose existence relies in part on the continued impression that it is economically-beneficial or do you believe a report published by the Legislature’s internal think tank? Obviously, the LFC report has more inherent credibility, but their report is also based on better, more tangible data.

The Film Office report relies heavily on hard-to-define terms like “direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts.” The LFC on the other hand directly compares the film incentive program against other economic development incentives. While we’d rather see the money used for tax reforms/reductions at least this is a tangible comparison.

The fact is that New Mexico’s film subsidies are economic losers. They require a revenue source like oil and gas to fund them. Study after study on film subsidies have come to similar conclusions, but sadly with the current Gov. and Legislature there is little likelihood of reining them in.

Film Tax Incentives Back in the Spotlight