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Thursday, July 26, 2012
Major Martinez Donor Outed as “Secret” Company to Win Multi-Million Dollar Tax Appeal; Threatens to Bankrupt NM Cities
From ProgressNow NM
A Florida for-profit prison company who gave tens-of-thousands of dollars to Governor Susana Martinez has been outed as the secret company whose sudden tax appeal threatens to bankrupt at least one New Mexico city.
In early July, municipalities including Santa Rosa, Grants, Hobbs, Jemez Springs and Guadalupe County reported receiving large tax bills from the state. The bill to Santa Rosa demanded immediate payment of more than $1.2 million - half the city's budget - though the Martinez administration refused to disclose the name of the corporation it had awarded the tax appeal. The administration also refused to cite the tax code provision which had been appealed.
The Guadalupe County Communicator now reports that of the industries that paid large tax bills in the past six months, only the GEO Group, a Florida-based for-profit prison company, did business in Santa Rosa.
Similarly, the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) operates private prisons in Grants and Hobbs and would have also benefited from the administration's tax decision.
ProgressNow NM has discovered that the GEO Group gave more than $41,000 to Martinez - $33,000 of it directly to Martinez herself - and the Republican party since 2010. That is more than five times the amount given to Democrats.
In early July, Santa Rosa officials petitioned the state Board of Finance, chaired by Martinez, to provide a temporary $1 million loan to allow the city to avoid bankruptcy. Despite the state reporting a $250 million surplus, Martinez and the board denied the request.
"This entire tax process was undertaken between the governor's administration and a corporation which gave her huge campaign donations, and now local taxpayers are being held accountable to foot the bill," says Pat Davis of ProgressNow New Mexico, a non-profit government and corporate watchdog group. "This governor is letting an entire town go bankrupt to fix her administration's mistake, and the only one who wins is some huge Florida corporation?"
Wow, that is stunning. More corporate welfare, and killing local economies to boot. There are probably diaries and drawings of the evil plot by corporate marauders. But don't worry, all the killing was done by legal means. Or the meanie, that Joker, Susana.
Posted by: bg | Jul 26, 2012 5:52:42 PM
"The bill to Santa Rosa demanded immediate payment of more than $1.2 million - half the city's budget - though the Martinez administration refused to disclose the name of the corporation it had awarded the tax appeal. The administration also refused to cite the tax code provision which had been appealed."
How is that legal?
Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Jul 26, 2012 6:18:01 PM
@Michelle: It can't be legal. But that's never stopped the Governatrix, not to mention Gary Johnson. Susana WalMartinez doesn't care about the rule of law. She's the ruler, so her word is law.
Posted by: Proud Democrat | Jul 26, 2012 8:26:38 PM
I can only hope that the Democrats use this in the next gubernatorial election against her.
Creating NM Ghost Towns haunted by bankruptcy.
La Tejana puts private prisons in front of the well being of N.M. towns and villages.
Posted by: qofdisks | Jul 28, 2012 11:43:41 AM