Direct spending in New Mexico by film, TV and digital media productions reached $855 million in fiscal year 2022 that ended June 30, the state’s governor’s office said Thursday.
New Mexico’s film and television industry has continued to grow: spending more than doubled from $292 million in 2020 to $626.5 million in 2021. It’s not just the state’s major cities benefiting from the incentive program either. As a result of legislation spearheaded in 2019 that provides an additional five percent tax bump for productions outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico’s rural communities saw nearly $50 million in 2022 after seeing $6.5 million from Hollywood in 2021.
Armed with refundable tax credits from 25 to 35 percent, the state offers one of the most generous tax breaks in the nation to the entertainment industry. Lawmakers in 2019 more than doubled the annual cap on its incentive program from $50 million to $110 million. Netflix and NBCUniversal have both recently built production studios in New Mexico, committing $2 billion and $500 million, respectively, to produce content in the state over the next ten years.
Recent projects to shoot in New Mexico include Stranger Things, Better Call Saul and Outer Range.
“Another record year for film and television industry spending makes it as clear as ever that New Mexico is the place to be for film and TV,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham in a statement. “Due to the work we’ve done to foster a successful environment for production and build a thriving base of talented local crews, film and television productions from around the world are putting money directly into New Mexico communities, supporting our small businesses and creating jobs for thousands of New Mexicans.”
While spending from Hollywood in New Mexico is booming, it’s still a far cry from other major productions hotspots. In 2021, Georgia saw $4 billion in direct spending from the entertainment industry — up from $2.2 billion in 2020 and $2.9 billion in 2019. The state has no cap on its tax credit program, giving away $1.2 billion in 2021 to Hollywood. California, which has a $660 million cap, drew similar levels, with the industry accounting for $2.6 billion in direct spending last year.
Neighboring state Arizona on July 6 increased the cap on its film and TV tax incentive program to $75 million, citing the desire to compete with New Mexico in drawing productions. It will grow to $125 million in 2025.