Economic Development Department says film industry crucial to state

Politics - Government

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The film industry has spent more than $2 billion in New Mexico in the last seven years, that’s according to the governor’s economic team. But like other industries in the state, the pandemic brought TV and film production to a halt. Lawmakers hope it’s an industry that can bounce back quickly.

Economic Development realizes getting the film industry back to pre-pandemic levels is crucial to helping rebuild the state’s economy. “This industry is key to helping bridge the gap in pay levels in New Mexico and the country as well,” said John Clark of EDD.

The average salary of someone connected to the film industry is 23% higher than other private industry salaries. More than 9,000 people in New Mexico are employed in all aspects of the film industry. Economic Development Department says getting the film industry restarted is crucial to the state’s economy.

Wednesday, the legislative Finance Committee was given a report on the importance of the film rebate. The presentation stated that film tax credit payouts would plummet about 50% in 2022 because of the slow down this year, to 85 million. 2022 because it takes a couple of years for productions to collect the rebate.

In the meantime, they are trying to help all the auxiliary businesses that depend on the industry. “Right now, we are solely focusing on getting businesses the help they need, trying to help them to keep people employed and they are working to maintain the best they can,” said Clark.

When the state legislature passed the revised film rebates it required a study of how the payouts were impacting the economy. since the pandemic hit, they were not able to complete the study. EDD hopes to have one done by early next year. EDD believes the number of productions in New Mexico will be back to normal soon along with their spending in the state.

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