Gov. Susana Martinez last week said that New Mexico could save $25 million by cutting the repayment to television and movie producers to 15% of their expenses within the state from the current 25%.
“There are choices we have to make in New Mexico,” the governor said Friday. “Do we subsidize Hollywood or do we start cutting in the classroom? I prefer to not be subsidizing Hollywood and make sure that we fund adequately our classrooms.”
Martinez said the assistance program is often mistakenly characterized as a tax credit.
“When a film is made in the state, New Mexico taxpayers cover 25% of the costs,” she said. “It’s a simple and straightforward subsidy.”
The Taxation and Revenue Department said the state paid $65.9 million to film and TV producers in fiscal 2010.
The New Mexico Film Office said more than 150 movies and television series have been produced in the state since 2003.
Rep. Luciano Varela, D-Santa Fe, chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee, said lawmakers also will be looking into the $134 million in tax breaks received last year by the oil and gas industry.
Varela said New Mexico loses $1.3 billion of revenue each year through more than 300 tax subsidies, exemptions, and credits.