Film industry initiative is long over...

Film industry initiative is long overdue - Ruidoso News

There are 4 comments on the Ruidoso News story from Mar 1, 2011, titled Film industry initiative is long overdue - Ruidoso News. In it, Ruidoso News reports that:

There's no question that New Mexico's policy of tax incentives has helped usher the state to a front-row seat in the film industry.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Ruidoso News.

Ed in NM

Norman, OK

#1 Mar 2, 2011
Just know other states are also vying for the film industry. Since relocating to Oklahoma, I notice Oklahoma is also aggressively in action to garner more of the share.

Competition for business and jobs is fierce.
beggar thy neighbor

Ruidoso, NM

#2 Mar 2, 2011

... But of course every state cannot do that because it essentially is a "beggar thy neighbor" strategy. Some of the movies that have been bribed to locate in New Mexico would have been made in New Mexico anyway. That part of the subsidy is a total waste. Most of the movies that have come to New Mexico for the subsidy would otherwise have been made in other states. New Mexicans may not care if the citizens of those states lose out, but inevitably those other states respond with subsidies of their own and New Mexico gets beggared along with everybody else.

In any event, Richardson's statistical claims are suspect, to say the least. He would not win an Oscar for math. He says that 10,000 jobs and $4 billion "are huge numbers for a state with a population of only about 2.1 million." You can say that again. If Richardson's figures were correct if every state had a similar program and every program achieved the same alleged success on a per capita basis that would mean film subsidies would be adding $600 billion to the economy over eight years and would create 1.5 million jobs. Given that the entire movie production and distribution industry generates about $55 billion a year, it seems unlikely that this subsidy alone generates $75 billion a year (one-eighth of $600 billion) in new business. Similarly, it's hard to see how the subsidy could add 1.5 million jobs to an industry that employs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 362,000 people.

In the definitive document on this issue a paper published in December by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities senior fellow Robert Tannenwald notes what he tactfully calls "flaws" in various studies the states have commissioned to justify the subsidy. Even after our recent experience with gullible or mendacious accountants in financial scandals like Enron's, it's actually shocking that reputable accounting firms would pull some of these stunts, such as counting the allowances film crews get paid for expenses as a benefit to the state, then counting the same money again when it is spent. Or assuming without explanation that the average film crew member makes $82,400 a year, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics sets that figure at $35,000. The most outrageous double counting, of course, is telling one state after another that it can bring in billions by enticing the same movies away from other states.


#3 Mar 2, 2011
Another waste of money with no real benefit to the state.

Aransas Pass, TX

#4 Mar 6, 2011
Good for Rep. Kintigh to have the courage to start this discussion. Where were the rest of our fiscal conservative Reps and Senators last year when he brought this up? And have they received any money from these film companies?

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