New Mexico has seen a sharp fall in the size of its location filming rebate payments over the past year. It’s being blamed variously on a wider industry trend and a period of uncertainty with the state’s filming tax credit that resulted in the annual film fund being reduced to USD50 million.
The state actually saw a sharp rise in the number of rebate payments issued in the 2012 fiscal year, but the payments themselves amount to less than a fifth of the USD100 million paid out in 2011. New Mexico’s tax credit may be more popular, but the small payments indicate the projects are mostly small-scale.
If you drop off like we have here in New Mexico because of the perception that we are no longer competitive, it can take two to three years to build the industry back up.
Dana Arnold, President of Albuquerque Studios
Dana Arnold is President of Albuquerque Studios and spoke to the Santa Fe New Mexican: “It’s been a very mixed year. I think we probably did a little better than most of our state. Our studio isn’t empty. Regardless, we took a huge hit. If you drop off like we have here in New Mexico because of the perception that we are no longer competitive, it can take two to three years to build the industry back up.”
While many filming industry professionals blame the prolonged uncertainty over the tax credit changes for the state’s production lull, the new tiered pay-out schedule is controversial too. Rebates of more than USD5 million are paid out over three separate fiscal years, which is unlikely to satisfy producers on larger-scale productions.
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