Your Business Connection

The New Mexico Business Coalition will publish items of interest to business owners in this column.

Legislative Session Update
We've got some amazing legislators serving New Mexico. Some are focused on building our state and creating more opportunities for our people and some are focused on taking more of our earnings and growing government.

When you consider the impact of these policy decisions or focus, consider what the outcome will be to our state. The recent report from United Van Lines, COVID-19 Pandemic Influenced Decisions to Move, provides some interesting insight as to why people are leaving New Mexico. 72% stated their primary reason for moving was family or jobs. In addition, 70% of those moving are 55 or older and 57% have incomes of $100,000 or more.

What we might deduce from this is that NM is not a retirement destination (and we still tax Social Security). We're also losing the high income earners and you can see from the list of tax bills why that might be occurring. More concerning, however, is the fact that 85% of businesses pay taxes at the personal income rate which shows them as high earners and could mean we are losing entrepreneurs.

NMBC brings you information about public officials who have the power and responsibility to provide a pro-business environment in which all businesses can flourish, provide jobs, and improve the economy and the quality of life for all New Mexicans. NMBC does not label individuals as “Zeros,” but we will not hesitate to talk about legislation as a “Zero” – providing no real benefit to the state and sometimes, even worse, taking the great state of New Mexico farther down the wrong path.  

That said, here is the latest installment of New Mexico Business Coalition Legislative Heroes and Zeroes:

Heroes
HB 139 and HJR 6: are bipartisan efforts to bring balance back to the legislative and executive branches.
SB 78 and HB 49: Exempt Social Security from income tax.
HJR 7: School choice will allow students to be educated where they choose.
HB 180: Limits fund appropriated by the Governor during public health emergencies to $750,000 per quarter.
HB 159: Prohibits rule making during a pandemic.
Zeroes from the House
HB 20HB 37 & HB 38: Business mandates for statewide paid leave.
HB 40: bars privately managed detention facilities.
HB 110: Mandated $15/hour minimum wage.
HB 122: New tax on health insurance.
HJR1: Increased rain of the permanent fund.
HB 148: Increase UI contribution rate.
HB 50: Allows individuals to sue businesses for any alleged infraction against air, land, and water.

Schools need accountability, not Permanent Fund raids

This may not be a surprise, but there's a serious disconnect between the proposed state budget and the results we're seeing in education. The proposed budget calls for $3.3 billion for education, a full 45 percent of the entire budget and 4 percent increase from last fiscal year. Yet New Mexico's education system is still ranked low nationally, currently 49th by U.S. News. Maybe some accountability for the dollars spent is a good idea before raiding the educational endowment fund for more. Click HERE for a breakdown of the budget.

Legislation is beginning to move and many items will need your attention. When we talk about bad legislation, one example is HB 50: PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION FOR CERTAIN STATUTES (Rep. Louis)

This legislation puts New Mexico businesses and industries, like the extractive industries, manufacturing and agriculture in the crosshairs for lawsuits filed by anyone alleging harm at any time. There is no statute of limitations. Imagine the free-for-all issue that would be created, clogging our court systems. Most importantly, this legislation will create significant uncertainty for businesses and would be a detractor for new businesses coming to our state. HB 50 will be heard in the House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26, at 9:00 via a virtual meeting platform.

If you know legislators on this committee or are a constituent, we urge you to contact them immediately and tell them to vote 'No' on HB 50:

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