Recently, a story about Santa Fe County lending $6 million for a movie study was covered in the local media, but did not receive much attention. In the past, the Rio Grande Foundation (using data produced by the state’s own Legislative Finance Council) has been critical of efforts to subsidize the film industry in New Mexico.
Now, as if the fact that their clients are subsidized through a 25% rebate on production costs and millions in interest-free loans, according to this story from the Associated Press, one group of studio “investors” is receiving $6 million in handouts from the County of Santa Fe and 10 million taxpayer dollars from Governor Richardson to build a studio near Santa Fe.
Where does it end? New Mexico already has the privately-built Albuquerque Studios (no direct government investment was made in the project). Now, when cuts are being made to all aspects of New Mexico’s budget, taxpayers are being forced to throw money at a competing studio, the clients of which are already receiving a generous and unlimited subsidy.