SIC Ends Zero Interest Loans to Filmmakers

Lee Rawson
Capitol Report New Mexico - The State Investment Council (SIC) on Tuesday (March 22) — with Gov. Susana Martinez taking part in the entire four-and-a-half hour meeting — unanimously voted to end the SIC’s practice of granting zero-percent interest loans to film companies who make their movies in New Mexico and also terminated the $260,000-a-year contract for the film consultant whose job was dependent on that practice. The zero-percent loan program — which is a separate issue from the much-debated tax credit policy that allows moviemakers to receive a 25 percent rebate from the state – had come under increasing criticism from members of the SIC, who felt that granting interest-free loans went against the SIC’s core reason for existing — to deliver a profitable return to New Mexico taxpayers on the $14.7 billion fund the council oversees. Moviemakers can still apply for loans with the SIC but they will have to pay a fixed-market rate. The board also unanimously passed a motion to terminate the contract of the state’s film consultant, Hollywood lawyer Peter Dekom, whose job it was to evaluate and advise the SIC on film projects. Dekom earned $260,000 a year from the state but in the eyes of the board, eliminating the zero-percent loan program made Dekom’s job superfluous. “If he’s not working, he’s not paid,” an SIC spokesman said after the meeting. I asked Gov. Martinez and board member Leonard Lee Rawson about the two motions that passed today: News New Mexico


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