Legislation to limit tax credit for films considered too violent

Legislature

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A handful of New Mexico lawmakers think the state shouldn’t be funding movies that have too much sex or violence. State lawmakers said if the film is inappropriate for kids under 17, then they should not get the refundable film tax credit.

Violent films like the Oscar-winning movie “No Country for Old Men” and even films that had vulgar content like “MacGruber” were filmed in New Mexico, those were rated ‘R’. In House Bill 283, films that contain subject matter that “most parents would consider patently too adult for their children aged 17 and under” would not qualify for the state’s film tax credits, which can be millions in subsidies. That’s essentially the industry criteria for rating a movie NC-17.


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The state’s film office said they oppose the bill because it could push filmmakers away from New Mexico. The bill’s backers disagree. “Our films still get a tax credit, PG-13, all of those,” said Rep. T. Ryan Lane (R- Bloomfield). “It just excludes NC-17 and that’s just a small fraction of films and it’s very rare for an NC-17 film to hit a theater so this should have no impact on the film industry in New Mexico.”

The bill is scheduled to be debated on in a House committee. Analysts also note that the state’s Economic Development Department must approve projects for the film tax credit before production starts and long before the Motion Pictures Association of America has decided on a rating for the film.

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