The timing of Michelle Lujan Grisham’s “roundtable discussion” about her “plans to ensure New Mexico can continue to attract investment from television and film productions” isn’t great. “Longmire” has wrapped for good. NBC has canceled “The Night Shift.” “Midnight, Texas” might not get a second season. Neither a critical nor an audience favorite, “The Brave” is on thin ice. And “Thor: Ragnorak” is the 11th Marvel Cinematic Universe production in a row that’s skipped New Mexico. (Portions of “The Avengers” were filmed in Albuquerque in 2011.)
Then there’s Harvey Weinstein. New York legislator Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) wants to “stop rewarding companies that turn a blind eye to sexual harassment,” and “plans to introduce legislation in the coming days that would require companies seeking tax credits to disclose any sexual harassment complaints or settlements over the past five years and the outcomes of those cases.” (Any New Mexico lawmakers interested in doing the same here?)
Rest assured, the people who benefit from the Land of Enchantment’s demonstrably disastrous subsidization of Hollywood will be on hand for Lujan Grisham’s event. Taxpayers won’t be represented, of course, and neither will objective analysts. (The Rio Grande Foundation hasn’t been asked to speak.) The gubernatorial wannabe knows that in New Mexico, the establishment is all in on film and television subsidies. Don’t confuse it with facts.
3 Replies to “Not the Best Time to Celebrate Hollywood ‘Incentives’”
However, most series TV shows do have a finite run so criticizing that is beside the point and not relevant to the subsidies. The biggest arguement is that, in the main, this is a closed system. Only members of Hendry’s IATSE union can be hired to work on films thereby shuting out hundreds of qualified craftspeople who would otherwise be able to earn a living in film and whose taxes are being used to pay the subsidies. That’s the rub. What the subsidies have also done is make Jon Hendry wealthy.
The foolishness of the Movie Subsidy is that while the State pours millions of dollars in to the bank accounts of California Movie Companies. But when the money runs out, the movie companies go somewhere else. They don’t establish permanent operations and jobs without permanent subsidies. Tax Credits to companies that move or expand it New Mexico require the companies to build business and owe taxes, they get reduced by the Tax Credits.
Film companies do not invest capital in New Mexico. Local investors (often taxpayers) provide the infrastructure they use such as sound stages and studios buildings. Relying on transient companies makes the state vulnerable to the kind of political bullying we saw in North Carolina.