A Box-Office Bomb for Taxpayers


We didn’t need more evidence that New Mexico’s welfare-for-Hollywood is a disaster. But we just got some.

Today the Albuquerque Journal reported that a new study, “conducted by the Canadian accounting firm MNP and [relying] on payroll data, industry interviews and financial reports filed with the New Mexico Film Office,” found that “total statewide spending on goods and services by … film and television productions declined from 2011 through 2014, with $118.7 million being spent in the 2011 budget year and $82.8 million being spent in 2014.” In addition, direct employment fell between the 2010 and 2014 fiscal years.

Errors of Enchantment ran the numbers recently, and came to the same conclusion.

Curiously — or maybe, not — MNP’s study is not available on the website of the New Mexico Film Office. Nor is it accessible via the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The Foundation has requested, via phone and email, a PDF of the study. Stay tuned….

Update: We’ve obtained the study. Some findings not covered in the Journal‘s story:

* Production spending in New Mexico declined from $276.7 million in 2011 to $162.1 million in 2014.

* New Mexico residents accounted for just 46 percent of performing artists, 35 percent of “key creative” employees, and 24 percent of post-production staffers.

* Production spending by region of the state was 5.3 percent in the northeast, 2.5 percent in the northwest, 0.3 percent in the southeast, and 0.5 percent in the southwest. Congrats, taxpayers in Raton, Farmington, Hobbs, and Deming!

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4 Replies to “A Box-Office Bomb for Taxpayers”

  1. Every study I have seen, except for one, over the last 10 years indicates that providing subsidies to film and tv producers by states is a money losing proposition for the states. That’s the reason that more and more states are eliminating the subsidies. The only study I have ever seen claiming that film and tv subsidies is profitable is the study commissioned during the Richardson administration (using taxpayer money) that was presented to the state legislature. Without much discussion, the Dem controlled state legislature then approved industry subsidies, which we remain stuck with.

  2. Excellent points brought out in your article……I’m glad the real truths are coming to the forefront.

  3. About the same level of dumb as figuring sports teams and arenas are economic drivers – Maybe so, but driven nose-down in the dirt
    But now Las Cruces wants an entire movie set to be built

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