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New Mexico governor will support film tax incentive bill after all

March 18, 2013|By Richard Verrier

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she now backs a program to expand the state's film tax credit.

Martinez recently vetoed a bill that would increase the state’s film credit to 30% for TV series shooting at least six episodes in New Mexico, saying she questioned the logic of an "unlimited subsidy to a single industry."

But Martinez changed her tune over the weekend. At a news conference on Saturday in Santa Fe, she said she would, in fact, support the improved incentive as part of a large package of tax reforms approved by state lawmakers, including a proposed reduction in corporate tax rates.

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Martinez, a Republican, has had an ambivalent attitude toward the state's film program, which was championed by former Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat.

Backers of the so-called "Breaking Bad" bill, named after the hit AMC series "Breaking Bad" that has filmed several seasons in the state,  expressed relief at Martinez's declaration of support.  Martinez is expected to formally sign the bill into law in the next three weeks.

"I'm very pleased that the legislature was able to send the Breaking Bad Bill to the Governor's desk again and that she' s indicated she'll sign it," House Majority Whip Antonio Maestas said in a statement Monday. "I urge Governor Martinez to act swiftly in signing this critical bill into law that welcomes the film industry back to New Mexico."

New Mexico has been attempting to reclaim its position as a leading film destination after losing business to rivals such as Georgia and North Carolina.

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