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May 21, 2018
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Big industry already gets subsidies like film industry (Listen again)
(2011-01-12)
As heard on At Noon, KSFR's daily one-hour midday news program
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Look for lively debate when state legislators meet on the question of the film incentives program New Mexico offers filmmakers.

When it got underway during the Richardson administration, only a couple of states had financial incentives for movie companies to do business in their states. Now there are more than 40. Sources in Hollywood say the New Mexico program is still among the friendliest - at least for them. But the new governor campaigned on doubts about the incentives and a Republican lawmaker has already drafted a bill to put the clamps on it.

There have been dueling financial studies about it. One done by New Mexico Tech said the state doesn't benefit very much. Another by the Ernst and Young accounting firm says it has brought in billions to the state. All of this is fuel for a big debate in the legislature. But there's been one public debate already. It was held in Albuquerque.

State Rep. Brian Egolf of Santa Fe was at that debate and showed his support for the film industry. Rep. Dennis Kintigh questioned the industry's transparency. Paul Gessing of the conservative Rio Grande Foundation asked for gas, oil and the ski industry to get state benefits as well. Eric Witt, head of the New Mexico Motion Picture Association, says the state already awards those and other industries a billion dollars a year.



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