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Film tax increase bill offers hope to students, industry

By Rene Thompson, Staff Reporter

New legislation to the Film Bill could raise the Tax Incentive cap for the filming industry, and film students as well as local members of the film industry could be affected by these changes for the better.

The “Breaking Bad bill” would raise the tax incen­tive for television shows filmed in New Mexico that hire New Mexico residents for 60 percent of their crew from 25 percent to 30 per­cent as an offset to the $50 million cap that was placed on the incentive in 2011.

The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and is moving onto the Senate, according to the New Mexico Legislature website.

Full-time Film Instructor and Local 480 Film Technician Union member Jim Graebner said raising the bill is cru­cial because it means there will be more opportunities for television shows to be filmed in New Mexico.

“We will have a better opportunity of getting TV pilots shot here that will end up on air, such as ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘In Plain Sight.’ We can be more competitive with other states, such as Louisiana, Georgia, and New York that have already raised their film tax incentives,” he said.

As other states raise their film tax incentives, the bill could put New Mexico back into the television business and will help people to stay employed, he said. “These shows are cru­cial to our economy and employment, because they shoot six to eight months out of the year and hire hundreds of people for longer periods of time – more than movie projects would in the long run,” said Graebner.

President of DAT Film Club and Film Technician major Daniel Shaw said any extra pro­motions to the film indus­try would help students remain employed longer in their careers.

These incentives are the way to keep film certi­fication programs success­ful at CNM, he said.

According to CNM Factbooks, more than 500 students have enrolled in the Film Tech program since 2006.

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