NM not small-business friendly

The New Mexico Senate approved a proposal Wednesday to raise taxes on businesses and trim jobless benefits to maintain the solvency of New Mexico’s unemployment compensation program.   Governor Martinez says she plans to veto HB59.

How crazy that the state seems eager to raise taxes on state businesses, EXCEPT for big chains like Wal-Mart and Lowes.  Because of a loophole in the state tax code, large, out-of-state corporations like Target do not have to pay taxes on the money they make in New Mexico.  How unfair that we small businesses pay gross-receipts and income taxes, but the big money-makers pay nothing.

Senate Bill 6 called for the state to close that loophole through a process called combined reporting, which could have raised up to $77 million annually for New Mexico. The bill was introduced by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Albuquerque). He has carried the bill for several years because he says it’s a loophole that gives big corporations a leg up on local businesses.  But, legislators have repeatedly failed to pass it.

For some reason, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce opposes the measure, saying combined reporting would send an anti-business message to corporations and industries at a time when New Mexico should be doing everything to entice businesses to relocate here or expand their operations.  This is ridiculous.  The big chains function in states where they have to pay taxes.   H&R Block, for example, operates in all 23 states that have some version of combined reporting.

This is an example of corporate welfare.  In Carlsbad, the city paid for infrastructure improvements for Lowes, yet Lowes will pay no taxes, and the profits leave the state.

In another example of business-backwardness, the Governor’s “Small Business-Friendly Task Force” is reportedly dominated by long-time lobbyists for large corporations.  These include big dairy and the oil, gas and natural gas industry.  Despite her talk of supporting mom and pop shops, the Governor is listening to the “big guys” in determining “small-business” development.  Truly disappointing.

The companies represented by lobbyists on the “small business” task force include oil and gas producers and distributors from Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Colorado; copper, gold and uranium mining companies from Arizona; a payday loan company based in Georgia and a giant tobacco company from North Carolina.

full article on the task force:  http://www.clearlynewmexico.com/?p=5593




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