“I’m still receiving inquiries about my thoughts on studies. As I said in my plan, the problem with studies is that it depends on who performs them. I can give you the results right now. If you believe it’s government’s function to create jobs, then film is one of, if not the, most dynamic programs in the country. If you believe that everything government does must create more tax revenue than it spends, then film doesn’t work. How we go about building roads or educating our kids on the basis of the return to the treasury is a complete mystery to me but that is the argument that is made. While conspiracy theorists believe the Governor’s office want a study released in 2014 when she’s running for reelection, I believe the film office is trying to figure out how to do it as fairly and equitably as possible while satisfying both of these constituencies. I’d be disappointed if politics took precedence over jobs.
We as a business mustn’t fall into the trap of calling these tax credits “subsidies.” We know they are not and if we use that word it becomes common practice. It’s what is happening in the New Mexican, and even fair and unbiased journalists like those at KUNM are using the Republican language. They don’t say oil and gas subsidies, solar subsidies or cheese subsidies; they call them tax credits. If you have the time write, email, or tweet press outlets when you see them use the term “subsidies” and let’s try to reframe the debate.”
This bill [HB379] is our first attempt at something the legislature can pass and the Governor will sign. It will probably not be the final version. There are a couple of amendments and the possibility of a committee sub but at least you can now see the way we are going. The first thing we really need to deal with is the roll over. If we wrote $9 million in checks in a year that we did $225 million in business, there is $30 million missing which we need to recapture. We’re still working on language around the vendor issue to be amended or substituted in. The Film Office has similar issues. We wanted to send a clear signal that we want to increase TV to 30% and give a talking point for conversations that people can pursue with their legislators.
The thinking is this: we have a number of pilots shooting here then returning to California and our big competition (Louisiana and Georgia) are both at 30%. We’d like to get that figure into the discussion for NM. As we all know, nothing provides stable, long term employment like a TV series. We’ve got a pretty good industry consensus and we’re working on the Governor’s office. Here we go!
New Mexico Labor Federation President, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent