An independent study of film-TV production incentives program in New Mexico — a key destination for runaway production from California — has offered an upbeat view of its impact.
The study showed production generated $1.5 billion in economic output since mid-2009 through earlier this year. During that period, producers received about $239 million in tax rebates.
The spending created almost 15,900 jobs, according to the state-commissioned study by Canadian consulting firm MNP, with net cost for each job created in New Mexico from film production at approximately $8,519.
The study also included a survey of industry representatives who listed the incentive program as a key factor that drew them to the state along with New Mexico’s proximity to Los Angeles, its varied and attractive landscapes and its trained and experienced workforce.
Those reps noted that they were encouraged by last year’s passage of “Breaking Bad” legislation that boosted incentives to 30% from 25%.
“In New Mexico, we need an economy that is as diverse as our people and the land we call home,” said Governor Susana Martinez. “We continue to have a strong incentive program, with increased predictability and stability in our state budget, and we are fighting to build a more competitive, diverse economy in every corner of the state.”
The report noted that TV has increased with 10 of the 58 productions in New Mexico in the last fiscal year, up from four TV projects in 2011.
However, the study also gave ammunition to opponents of tax incentives for the film industry with its finding that for each dollar in tax incentives granted by New Mexico, film production generated about 43 cents in state and local taxes.
The legislature approved a $50 million cap on annual film incentives in 2011 as a compromise with Martinez.
The state has granted nearly $405 million in tax credits since the incentives were enacted in 2002.