By itself, New Mexico’s tax on corporate income doesn’t render the state economically uncompetitive. A heavy and complicated overall tax structure, lack of a right-to-work law, extensive welfare architecture, reams of burdensome regulations, alarming dropout rate, and many other factors make the Land of Enchantment an undesirable place to do business.
But it’s important to note that, as the Tax Foundation recently documented, New Mexico’s top marginal corporate tax is higher than each of its five neighbors. The levy is statutorily slated to drop to 6.6 percent for the current year, down from 6.9 percent in 2015. Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona have lower rates — and Texas, of course, has no corporate tax at all.
Enter Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque). The hard-left legislator and “retired educator” has sponsored a bill to delay the “rate reduction to  and all subsequent rate reductions by one year.”
Is hiking taxes during what’s looking more and more like an economic apocalypse for New Mexico a good idea? You make the call.
The Rio Grande Foundation is tracking the goings-on in Santa Fe. Despite New Mexico’s worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate, most of the action — with the session more than half-over — has been on drivers licenses and “tough on crime” policies. That is not to say that large numbers of bills –including several economic reforms — haven’t passed the New Mexico House only to lay stacked on Majority Leader Michael Sanchez’s desk. It is true that there has been a shift in priorities (as you can see from the list of House-passed bills).
One group that claims to understand the need to focus on economic issues is the House Democrats. They rolled out their “Economic Opportunity Plan” which House Democratic Leader, Representative Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) claims — with no research whatsoever — would reduce the State’s unemployment to 3.9%. That would take us from dead-last to tied with Idaho for 11th.
These are the very same people who, when they finally got booted from office after 52 years of House dominance, had helped New Mexico to the worst poverty rate in the nation. Needless to say, the most significant parts of their agenda comes from the far-left playbook although many of the bills on the lengthy list like (HB 11: Shaken Baby Syndrome Educational Materials) seem almost trivial and unrelated to the New Mexico economy.
Interestingly, though the group decries the emphasis by Gov. Martinez on criminal justice issues, their list of public safety bills is almost along as the rest of their bills combined. Mostly, the “Economic Opportunity Plan” seems to be a laundry list of bills proposed by House Democrats during the 2016 session. There is no philosophical approach (besides more and bigger government). There is no analysis provided as to their impact. Just the old “Trust Us!”