Governor’s call for tax reform during special session irresponsible

MEDIA STATEMENT
April 27, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children
505-244-9505 ext. 110 (p), 505-401-8709 (c), 505-244-9509 (f), skayne@nmvoices.org

ALBUQUERQUE—James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding Governor Martinez’s speech today at the Tax Research Institute:

“Governor Martinez’s sudden embrace of legislation that would overhaul the state’s tax system—and her desire to make such significant changes during a special session—are both irresponsible and appear to be an attempt to distract New Mexicans from the budget mess she created with her drastic vetoes. Such an important undertaking should be considered very carefully and should allow plenty of time for input from the public. At today’s speech she praised Rep. Jason Harper for his omnibus tax bill (HB 412) and implied she wants a bill like it for the special session. However, Rep. Harper’s bill contained numerous provisions that would hurt New Mexico’s hard-working families. The most egregious of these would be to reinstate the tax on all food purchases—something the governor has promised not to do.

“This particular tax reform bill would also triple the personal income tax rate paid by the poorest of the poor, enact new taxes on charities, and give yet another tax cut to big corporations. It is also impossible for experts to estimate the impact this bill would have on the state’s overall tax collection. It is reckless to be considering introducing such uncertainty when the state’s revenue collection has been stagnant for years and is inadequate to fund education and health care for New Mexico’s children and families.

“What’s more, this bill has been debated by the Legislature in several different incarnations over the past half-dozen years. In fact, portions of Rep. Harper’s bill—the closure of several loopholes—were included in another tax bill (HB 191) and passed, but the Governor vetoed it.

“New Mexicans would be much better served if, instead of engaging in battles over political ideology and catering to the well-connected, the Governor got to work negotiating with the Legislature on a new revenue package that adequately funds our colleges and universities along with all the other critical services—K-12 education, health care, and public safety—that the state’s economy and hard-working families depend upon.”

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New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.

625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org