Debates over film production incentives continue as lawmakers prepare to consider bill

In the past decade, the film industry has exploded in New Mexico and Georgia. In fact, the movie Only The Brave, which focuses on the Granite Mountain Hotshots, was actually filmed in New Mexico.

In the Grand Canyon State, it has been several years since there was a big push from the film industry to ask legislators for incentives. On Wednesday, state lawmakers will consider a bill that would attempt to lure movie productions back to Arizona.

"Other states are blowing us away," said Randy Murray with the Arizona Film and Media Coalition.

Murray supports new legislation to find financial incentives to lure projects to Arizona.

"We are where the movie, the TV industry, the gaming industry wants to come," said Murray. "The government is just not letting it happen."

Others, like Scot Mussi with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, believe incentives are bad for taxpayers.

"[There are] already benefits for people to film here," said Mussi. "At the end of the day, when you look at the numbers, the pros and cons, this is a bad investment for taxpayers."

People with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club will testify against the incentive bill at the State Capitol on Wednesday. Mussi claims when the state had film incentives in the early 2000s, it failed.

"It didn't deliver on the jobs promised," said Mussi. "The only jobs that were created were low-paying. Most of the movies provided no bang for the buck for the State of Arizona. It was a net loser."

Murray disputes Mussi's claims. He says the industry is waiting to pop, and the new incentive bill will be different.

"We give them a check for the amount of sales tax they spent, and only what they spent," said Murray. "They don't get a single dime of taxpayer dollars."

Murray hopes this will mean more moments like one day in 2016, when Loop 303 was shut down for the filming of Transformers 3.

"It's just a great place to shoot," said Murray. "We should be busy every single day."

Gov. Doug Ducey has yet to weigh in publically on the bill, which is scheduled for a 8:00 a.m. hearing at the State House Ways and Means Committee.

As of now, no vote is scheduled following testimony.