Film Subsidies Hurt New Mexico

Something I blogged about at the start of November and included in our “2008 Piglet Book” has finally been picked up by the Associated Press.
The story, which was reported in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday is that New Mexico’s film Incentives hurt our economy rather than helping it. While the fact that that New Mexico’s generous film incentives are economically dubious has been known for some time, I say “better late than never.” And the story includes some good reporting including the following:

More than 40 states have film incentives and they have been scrambling to out-do one another, said Frank Hamsher, a public policy consultant from St. Louis. Michigan offers a production rebate of a whopping 42 percent.
“It’s like poker. They see the last bid and they up it a bit,” said Hamsher, who spoke on the subject at a recent meeting in San Diego sponsored by the Western States Arts Federation.
Fickle filmmakers, meanwhile, are chasing the next best deal, he added.
Most states haven’t taken a hard look at what’s being spent, what taxpayers are getting in return, and how sustainable it is, Hamsher said.

We’ll see if the Legislature decides that overly generous film incentives will face reductions in tougher economic times with the state facing a massive budget deficit.

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