Thursday, January 05, 2012
Senator Keller Announces New Mexico Economy Legislative Package
State Senator Tim Keller (SD-17) announced a package of six job creation and economic development bills that have been pre-filed for the upcoming 2012 legislative session. “These bills are designed to provide short term jobs and a long term vision for economic development in New Mexico. Over the last few years we have looked at various one off proposals for economic development, now is the time to take it a step further and consider a wide range of legislation that can really move the needle toward a new strong economic future in our state.” Keller explained at a meeting with supporters in a South Valley restaurant.
Sen. Keller’s economic package includes a combination of tax reform, small business investment, strategic planning, and research and development funding for Universities designed to address multiple aspects of short term job creation and long term economic development in our state. Legislation includes:
- SB 5: Capital Expenditure Tax Deferment: designed to make NM more tax competitive and stimulate infrastructure for big and small businesses, this bill would create a tax credit for all capital expenditures that can be used to defer state tax GRT payments until debts are repaid or 5 years have passed. In effect this bill would establish a tax free loan (via a tax credit) for capital expenditures, it would also align the timing of capital expenditure tax liability with incremental revenue associated with the investment
- SB 16: NM “Reverse the Brain Drain” Incentives: creates a structure for companies to receive a tax credit for hiring NM University graduates to full time positions that include benefits. This will incent both on time graduation and retention of our best and brightest by NM firms (reverse the brain drain). Funding for this program will be offset by the reduction in demand for lottery funds for students taking additional years to graduate due to lack of jobs
- SB 21: Energy Technology Higher Education Endowment: will gradually intercept funds going into permanent funds to 'invest' in our high education intellectual infrastructure. Over time the fund would endow 30 chairmanships, curriculum and research at our states three universities for the purposes of coordinated nationally leading energy technology state wide economic development strategy
- SJM: Centennial Planning Task Force: the creation of inter-governmental planning initiative to create a vision for NM for the next 100 years. The task force shall consider state assets including energy, tourism, the arts, water, technology, genetic research areas and any fields or industry in their deliberations to develop a comprehensive plan including the integration of communities and agencies for our State's future.
- SB 28: Finance NM small businesses by increasing the SIC Private Equity Investment Program (PEIP) to 10% (from 9%), and the Small Business Investment Corporation doubled to 2% (from 1%). This would add~ $10-40 million in new monies for NM businesses. The funds are currently used specifically for financing NM small businesses. The estimated incremental funds available from this bill would be 4 to 12 million depending on matching funds and leverage. The bill also contains a "use it or lose it" clause that would claw back unused distributions to the general fund
- HB 34 (Gentry/Keller): Red Tape Reduction/Rule Making Regulatory Reform: this bill is the outcome of the year long task force based comprised of business, environmental, legal and community members. NM is the last state in our country that does not follow this standard, as a result any executive agency can change/alter the licensing/permitting process as they see fit as many times as they like. The result is the ‘rules of the game’ are different for nearly every entity that touches state government. This bill would standardize procedures such as public comment periods, appeal methods, fee structures and response requirements among others
Bill details can be found at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_locatorcom.aspx?year=12 . Most of the bills will be automatically germane for the thirty day session based on their relevance to tax and budget. Messages from the Governor have been requested for those that outside the constitutional scope of the thirty day session.