Farmington, San Juan County officials favor adoption of film tax credit
City Council, County Commission vote unanimously for resolution
FARMINGTON — San Juan County and Farmington officials are hoping to see an increase in the number of films produced in the region, but they are aware that production costs are higher here than they are in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
With that thought in mind, the San Juan County Commission and Farmington City Council both unanimously passed resolutions Tuesday encouraging the state to implement a 5 percent tax credit that would apply to film projects done outside of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. No legislation calling for that increase has been introduced during the session that opened earlier this month.
The Farmington City Council meeting can be viewed online at fmtn.org.
According to the resolution, it can cost film producers an extra $500,000 per production to film outside of Santa Fe or Albuquerque. That is because the majority of people who work in the film industry in New Mexico live in one of those two cities. Albuquerque also has a Netflix production studio located there, and both cities have film studios that other parts of the state lack. Producers have to pay for travel and lodging for crew members and actors when they film outside of those cities, substantially increasing their costs.
That 5 percent tax credit would be on top of an existing 30 percent tax credit the state already offers the film industry. The 30 percent tax credit consists of 25 percent for filming in New Mexico and 5 percent for using certain facilities.
During the City Council meeting, Mayor Nate Duckett said he does not necessarily agree with the 25 percent tax credit. However, Duckett said it would be unfortunate if only Santa Fe and Albuquerque reaped the benefits of the film production.
“I think trying to bring people into our community any way we can is a good thing,” Councilor Sean Sharer said during the meeting. “Because once they’re here, they’ll find out how great it is, and maybe they’ll come back.”
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.