by Jerry Nachison, Deming Headlight
September 15, 2016

Gov. Susana Martinez agreed to a special legislative budget session — a half-day session to finalize “pre-approved” measures without tax increases. Are participatory public budget discussions inconvenient?

Martinez prefers secrecy, cutting taxes, ripping education and other governmental services, corporate giveaways, even voter ID. She’s proven her priorities — people get as little as possible.

NM Political Report, Aug. 27, summarized its poll’s options. Reported results mostly hurt our people. Delaying approved corporate tax cuts and following poll results suggested solves nothing, just “quick fixes” that don’t. In his commentary, Bill Jordan had a different view — that we’re giving away too many tax breaks.

NMPR? Suggest better polling methodology — try mixed ‘good and bad’ choices – with more information. Might New Mexicans at least be able to say, e.g, no cuts to any level of public education including teacher salaries; also improve public services and eradicate state fraud? NMPR’s poll too incomplete/limited unless deliberately biased.

Corporate credits and giveaways alone are at least $55 million annually, according to TaxBlog. While probably low, such amounts are generally hard to accurately calculate, due to thousands of entities and incomplete records (N.Y. Times). State corporate taxes, while “progressive,” are the lowest of all New Mexico taxes, followed by taxes for high income folk (Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy).

The governor’s position? We need lower taxes and giveaways to attract more businesses. The record — overall failure — speaks for itself. New Mexico has both a declining state economy and population — as predicted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 2010. Can’t blame Bill Richardson in 2016.

My budget thoughts? Keep funding at least steady for all state and local services, including education. Pass more progressive higher taxes for corporations and the rich. Consider legalizing marijuana and tax it. Raise the gasoline tax. Shall opposing views ever meet? If we only paper over cracks, our people lose.

Jerry Nachison,
Las Cruces

Copyright 2016, Deming Headlight