Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watch out, New Mexico, Utah has big film incentives

As lawmakers here are wringing their collective hands over what to do about incentives for the state's film program, legislators in Utah are expanding its program, the Motion Picture Association of New Mexico says in a press release.

Here's the scoop:

In a 57 to 12 vote, the Utah House decided on Tuesday to both raise the 20% credit to 25% and make the program essentially permanent.

"Utah has looked at what we have done here in New Mexico and wants to emulate our program," said Santa Fe based producer Alton Walpole. "They recognize that this industry creates good jobs and attracts investment that creates a positive overall economic impact."

The Utah legislation, HB 99, also adds digital media companies to the eligible applicants column for the incentive.

"As a state that adopted incentives early, we got a head start in building infrastructure and developing a skilled work-force," said Walpole. "This has made New Mexico one of the top destinations for production and new media markets like digital effects. With other states rushing to duplicate what we’ve achieved here, attempts to cap or reduce our incentives send exactly the wrong message about our long-term commitment to this industry. In this competitive environment it’s vital that our lawmakers protect our strategic advantage by continuing to support and even improve New Mexico’s program."

The release of course is aimed at putting even more pressure on lawmakers here to think twice about reducing the incentives for filmmakers in New Mexico, again raising the point that movie producers could easily choose another spot for their next flick.

But it also highlights the difference in how states are approaching film programs and incentives. See this story on how the makers of the Avengers movie have pulled out of Michigan after its governor proposed essentially eliminating film tax incentives there.

No comments:

Post a Comment