Here's the latest news on the New Mexico Film Incentives - from the New Mexico Independent!
Before discussion of a bill in committee, it’s normal for the chair to ask the audience who is there in support and who isn’t. After Chairman Garcia asked that question on Tuesday, Rep. Dennis Kintigh, R-Roswell, knew he was alone.
After a lot of testimony, a change to a bigger room and some emotional words, the House Labor and Human Resource Committee tabled the bill by a vote of 5 to 2. The bill aimed to end the tens of millions of dollars worth of tax incentives New Mexico gives to film companies to make movies here. Last year, Rep. Kintigh says the state gave out $82 million dollars in those incentives for a creation of about 2,000 direct jobs.
“We have a moral and ethical obligation to be good stewards of the states money,” Kintigh said in his opening statement.”I’m convinced we are not being good stewards if we continue this program.”
The committee had to switch rooms in the Roundhouse to accommodate the large crowd that turned out over the issue. And that large crowd was 100 percent against the bill.
“This bill is out there, it’s headline-grabbing, but its not sensible,” one commenter told the committee.
Comment after comment poured in to the committee, asking them to kill the bill. One came from a representative of the Enterprise car rental company, who pointed to the 50-60 cars rented for one month per production. Another told of a residential construction career revived by building movie sets. Over all about 20 people from the crowd spoke to the committee.
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