Attracting films to Arizona too taxing for lawmakers
Location, location, location ... Why is New Mexico called the “Land of Enchantment”? Maybe because its movietax credit program is so enticing to production companies.
A recent movie that fell under its spell: “Only the Brave,” the film about the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the deadly fire they fought … in Arizona. But it was filmed across the border.
Gov. Doug Ducey said it’s regrettable it wasn’t shot in the state where the tragic event happened.
“I wish they would have filmed it here,” the governor said, after touting the movie during a recent speech. “Of course, we always want to bring industry here.”
So why didn’t that happen?
“A lot of times it has to do with timing, weather, climate,” the governor said.
And, maybe, tax credits?
The production, like so many other movies, documentaries and shorts, benefited from the refundable tax credit New Mexico offers to companies that film in the state. And New Mexicans got some jobs out of it, too: the New Mexico Film Commission reported the production employed 190 New Mexico crew members, 40 New Mexico actors, and approximately 1,300 New Mexico background talent.
Ducey, for his part, is not a fan of the specialty tax break.
“I am in favor of lowering our taxes every year and having a more attractive business climate,” he said. “I haven’t been someone who has looked to those targeted-industry type incentives.”
Arizona’s Legislature has rejected repeated efforts to revive a short-lived film tax-credit program.
Meanwhile, New Mexico is standing in as the locale for lots of Southwestern-based plots. Movies titled “Midnight, Texas’ and “Waco” have announced plans to film there. And a movie called — wait for it — “Arizona.”
Would that really be better? ... An unappealing smell and taste in Tempe’s drinking water this fall has led some residents to propose a seasonal solution: add pumpkin spice.
A petition created on ipetitions.com is calling for the city to flavor the water, and some residents are signing on. For Pumpkin spice haters and others who do this, don’t stress: This appears to be a joke.
“Whereas, the tap water tastes awful, and, whereas, it’s that time of year anyhow,
We hereby ask the City of Tempe to put pumpkin spice in the tap water,” the petition reads.
One anonymous user on the petition page seemed to shrug at the idea: “This water is the worst ever at least make it pumpkin, I guess,” the person wrote.
The petition was posted on a Tempe neighborhood Facebook group and garnered many positive responses.
“FINALLY! Positive solutions instead of complaining on the internet,” wrote Sarah Rainer.
The “musty” smell emanating from the water actually comes from organic compounds called 2-Methylisoborneol and Geosmin, according to Tempe water quality manager Dave McNeil.
The scary-sounding scientific terms are not dangerous to human health, according to McNeil. They’re organic compounds that tend to appear this time of the year — much like pumpkin spice.
The city responded to the petition with the following statement:
“The City of Tempe takes great pride in producing clean, safe drinking water that is enjoyable year-round. Let’s save the pumpkin spice for lattes.”
The petition has garnered a staggering 7 signatures since it launched in September so Tempe pumpkin spice fans shouldn’t hold their breath (unless they’re taking a drink of the tap water).
Quote of the week
“I have decided that I will be better able to represent the people of Arizona and to better serve my country and my conscience by freeing myself from the political considerations that consume far too much bandwidth and would cause me to compromise far too many principles.”
— Jeff Flake, U.S. senator, announcing he will not seek a second term in the United States Senate.