June 21, 2019 – Last week, NBCUniversal announced plans to expand its film and TV production with a multimillion-dollar project in downtown Albuquerque. The state is investing up to $7.7 million along with $3 million from Albuquerque in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding to convert a present warehouse into a state-of-the-art studio. In return for these investments and additional tax incentives, NBCUniversal has committed to $500 million dollars of spending over the next decade, more than 300 full-time jobs at good wages, and $55,000 per year into training programs.
While the Albuquerque City Council voted unanimously to approve the city’s share of the funding, not everyone is on board with the investment, including the Rio Grande Foundation, a tax watchdog group. Gene Grant and the Line opinion panelists weigh in on whether they think it’s a good economic deal for New Mexico.
Janice Arnold-Jones, former NM state representative
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR
Giovanna Rossi, Collective Action Strategies, “The Well Woman Show” (KUNM)
Harry Van Buren, UNM Anderson School of Management
May 31, 2019 – Among the many pieces of legislation signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after the legislative session is one designed to boost film and television production in the state. It raises the annual cap on tax incentives and pays off part of a backlog of rebates that grew under the Martinez Administration to more than $380 million dollars.
The changes come on the heels of Netflix’s opening of a major production hub at Albuquerque Studios. The bill exempts companies like Netflix from the annual cap on incentives if they buy or lease a production facility in the state for at least ten years. It also offers additional incentives for productions that film outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor.
Alicia J. Keyes is the state secretary for economic development and says the changes represent a new era for film and media production. In this episode she talks with NMiF correspondent Megan Kamerick about the future of the media industry in New Mexico.
Guest: Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Secretary of Economic Development