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New film incentive study: Industry has hefty impact in NM

A new study says the film industry pumps millions of dollars into New Mexico's economy, but still takes in more money via film rebates than it generates in the form of tax dollars. Shown here are Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron in the film, "A Million Ways to Die in the West," filmed around Santa Fe.
A new study says the film industry pumps millions of dollars into New Mexico's economy, but still takes in more money via film rebates than it generates in the form of tax dollars. Shown here are Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron in the film, "A Million Ways to Die in the West," filmed around Santa Fe.
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A long-awaited study on New Mexico’s film incentive program has found the film industry pumps millions of dollars into the state’s economy, but still takes in more money via film rebates than it generates in the form of tax dollars.

Specifically, the study released today concluded that film production activity — both movies and TV shows — generates an estimated 43 cents in tax revenue for every incentive dollar spent by the state.

That finding falls in between two previous studies on the economic impact of film tax credits in New Mexico.

Meanwhile, the study also found that film production spending in New Mexico generated $1.5 billion in total economic output during a roughly four-year period. An estimated 15,848 full-time jobs were created by the film industry during that same time period.

Gov. Susana Martinez, who pushed to trim the film incentive program after taking office in 2011 but has since signed legislation expanding the available rebates for qualifying TV shows, said the film industry has helped diversify the state’s economy.

“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,” Martinez said in a statement.

“New Mexico has so much to offer to those who are in the business of searching for the right place to shoot a movie or television program, and our communities clearly benefit from these opportunities.”

The study, which was conducted by the Canadian accounting firm MNP, has been in the works for several years. The Legislature approved a bill calling for the film study in 2011, but did not appropriate money for the project.

Check tomorrow’s Journal for more information.

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