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I’ve written about the Duke City Shootout and how that contest is designed to draw attention to New Mexico as a viable state for filmmaking. That contest isn’t really necessary. The real reason filmmakers will consider New Mexico as a filming location is because of the very competitive film production incentives that the state offers.
New Mexico does not offer a tax credit, but an actual cash rebate of 25% of qualifying local spend. There is no brokering required as the check will be sent straight to the production company’s office from the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. There is no cap on in-state expenditures and the qualifying amount includes New Mexico labor costs. The rebate is capped, however, at $5,000,000 on all out of state “performing artists” per project. Best of all, there is no minimum spend to qualify so this is great news for smaller, independent productions. The state has set no annual cap on the rebates so there’s no need to rush or plan an early year shoot
There is also a sales tax exemption for film production in New Mexico. In addition, all hotel and lodger taxes are waived on stays longer than 30 days. There are no permit fees for the city of Albuquerque while the city of Santa Fe charges a meager $25.00 permit fee. State owned buildings are fee-free including a closed state penitentiary with space for a mill and production offices. Not too shabby. If that’s not enough, New Mexico also offers a loan/investment program for film production.
New Mexico is a union state and as such has a large and experienced union crew base capable of handling up to 12 productions at a time. There are three studios with a total of ten stages in Albuquerque and another two soundstages in Santa Fe. Camera, sound, and other production equipment houses can be found in the two big cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
The terrain and environment of New Mexico is suitable for desert and mountain locations. Some recent productions that have been filmed in New Mexico include: In the Valley of Elah, 3:10 to Yuma, No Country for Old Men, Wild Hogs, The Astronaut Farmer and Transformers. Currently, the latest installment of the Terminator franchise Terminator: Salvation is shooting in Albuquerque.
For more information, contact:
New Mexico Film Office
418 Montezuma Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (505) 476-5610
Fax: (505) 476-5601