Governor Susana Martinez announced today that legislation clarifying definitions in the state's high wage tax credit will be on the agenda for next month's special legislative session. In 2004, the state instituted a high wage tax credit, allowing employers to claim an exemption based on wages and benefits for certain high wage employees. However, in 2010, the Taxation and Revenue Department discovered a loophole in the wording of the legislation that would exclude some employee benefits from the calculation for determining a high-wage job as the law currently exists. If this language is not clarified, it would make it more difficult for numerous New Mexico businesses to retain high wage employees and hire new ones.
"It is important that we maintain the predictability that New Mexico businesses need in order to hire new employees," said Governor Martinez. "Clarifying the definition of a high wage job will restore stability to our business environment, encourage growth among businesses that are already in New Mexico, and invite businesses from other states to move their operations here and hire New Mexico workers."
Bi-partisan legislation clarifying language in the state's high wage tax credit statute will be carried in the upcoming special legislative session by Sen. Kent Cravens (R-Albuquerque), Sen. Phil Griego (D-San Jose), and Sen. John Ryan (R-Albuquerque). It has also received support from Rio Rancho mayor Thomas Swisstack.
"We must allow our job creators the opportunity to hire new workers, keep the ones they have, and continue to play an important role as drivers of New Mexico's economy," said Sen. Cravens. "By addressing the high wage tax credit we can send a message to job creators that New Mexico is embracing a stable and predictable business environment."
"I look forward to sponsoring legislation to correct this unintended consequence," said Sen. Griego. "At this point in time, New Mexico needs to create jobs, and the high-wage tax credit is an important tool in accomplishing this top priority for the state."
"We simply cannot afford to lose the high wage tax credit as we know it," Sen. Ryan added. "Companies like Hewlett Packard rely on this tool to provide permanent, well-paying jobs to New Mexicans. We must make sure that it remains in place so these companies have the stability they need to thrive."
"It's imperative that New Mexico keeps its promise to support the efforts of companies to move to New Mexico and create high-wage jobs," said Mayor Swisstack. "I'm pleased that the Governor and Legislature are working together to ensure that this important incentive is kept intact."