here is no plan in Santa Fe to change New Mexico or fix the things that will take us off our generations long poverty curve. We must change the policy in New Mexico on the economy. National politics will not fix or address this. There must be a plan of action with a specific goal and accountability to that goal if we are going to change New Mexico into a prosperous economy instead of battling for the last place on all the poverty scales.
In the past Santa Fe has given tax breaks just to other state's corporations with no accountability for whether they bring in high paying jobs or benefit the state in any significant way. This is not how other states do this work. Doing this the way it has been done in the past actually hurts our New Mexico economy. This must change. Bringing in good corporations that bring high-paying jobs with benefits should be sought. Bringing in corporations that put our small businesses out of business because we give them a 7.5% tax break, but our NM companies pay that 7.5% is not only stupid but its unfair. Bringing in low paying minimum wage jobs with no benefits is largely a drain on the state's resources. The parents in my District are not working their tails off to raise and educate their kids to go to college, so those kids can grow up and have minimum wage jobs with no benefits - they must have opportunities here in New Mexico for high paying jobs. This is the only way we will ever get off the poverty curve and onto a posperous one.
So, being a successful businessperson for almost 20 years I know how we make this change. People live here because it is a beautiful place to live. People choose to be here over many other places. If we invest and grow our good, solid New Mexico businesses with a vengence we will change New Mexico's economy for the present and sustain it for the future! This means centering on the things that are unique about businesses in New Mexico. Identifying what is crippling them from growing, or just keeping them from expanding to their potential. A great example of this are many of the corporations that have their start through Sandia Labs. These are by definition high-paying jobs. They work off incentives through the Federal Government. Those incentives leave when a business reaches 500 employees, because they are technically no longer a "small" business. These companies want to expand and they are successful. We can help finance and bridge the next level of their growth through redistribution of tax incentives, that frankly don't work.
We tried to level the playing field last session and passed a Bill called "SB9" that required Big Box stores (the Walmarts of the world) file tax returns to report their earnings in the state. It required they pay a corporate tax rate, and the bill lowered the tax rate on all New Mexico companies, slightly. We had to have a revenue neutral bill, so the budget was not decreased. The Walmarts of the world pay corporate tax in all other Western states. This is for a really good reason, in particular. Walmart is the single biggest small business killer in the nation. In our state, they get an even better deal. While they have a 7.5% tax break, and bring cheap goods, our NM small businesses have to pay 7.5% more to provide goods. Small businesses can't compete - almost ever in that situation. We, at least, need to put them on equal footing. SB 9 was vetoed by the Governor. Which is honestly, unexplainable to me, but I am a business person. I am confident, those of us who have runn successful businesses for many years, can do a better job of explaining the benefits of this particular bill this Session, so the Governor better understands its need to be the law.
I want a bigger solution though. Obviously, I did not invent "Economic Gardening". I recognized as a business person in watching and participating in the Session last year that no cognizable plan to change our economy existed. I have a spectacular group of extremely successful businessmen and women and have constructed by own economic forum to study the needs of our New Mexico businesses. It is clear their is a problem with our tax structure that stops growth. We are a poor state and we have to bring in revenue from all sources, but you have to invest to expect to grow or increase profits - all of us in business recognize this. I started to see a pattern and a solution. I am very grateful to ACI, the Association for Commerce and Industry in helping define the plan for Economic Gardening - which interestingly we both recognized as the key to changing New Mexico's economy. My job is to put together a group of bills that foster growth and support for our New Mexico economy in a bold way to increase the opportunities in New Mexico for high-paying jobs. New Mexico companies want to be here. They invest here. They stay here, unlike a lot of the fickle out of state corporations. They want to grow. They are uniquely suited to our state, like the brain trust we have at the Labs. As a business person, assessing the business interests of our state - this is the only real way to provide a stable and sustainable economic plan that will yield a prosperous economy for New Mexico.
I need your vote in November to put this plan into effect. Please provide me your comments. I'm always happy to hear a good idea. We will be having a very interesting meeting shortly that you are welcome to attend - more to come about this later if you send me your email - we will make sure to send you an invitation.
Thanks for being involved enough to seek out my plans for our District and our State. I will stand up for you. I have been standing up for people my entire career. New Mexico must improve. There must be a plan. I have the plan and the ability to see it into law. Thank you so very much for your support.