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ABQ Lawmaker Proposes “Compromise” Measure on Film Rebates

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico’s film incentive program could be tweaked to allow certain television shows filmed in the state to receive larger a tax rebate, under a bill introduced today by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

Other changes made in House Bill 379 would include changing the structure of the annual $50 million cap on film rebates — enacted in 2011 — to allow for unused money under the cap to be carried ahead for use in future budget years.

“It’s kind of like raising the cap without jeopardizing the certainty of the budget,” Maestas said.

The film incentive cap has been criticized by some members of the film industry, who have blamed it for decreasing in-state filming of movies and TV shows.

However, proponents of the annual limit on film rebates say it provides budget security and ensures the state does not have to trim spending levels in other areas to pay out rebates.

Gov. Susana Martinez has indicated her support for the general “carry-over” concept in Maestas’ legislation. However, her office has not yet responded to a request for comment on the bill.