It’s time for tax fairness and transparency
It’s time to close the tax loophole for out-of-state corporations and provide more transparency and accountability when it comes to tax “incentives.” Will we choose the priorities of Wall Street or Main Street?
New Mexicans share core values of fairness, transparency and accountability. They also have an abiding faith in democracy. Thus, it is disappointing when the debates that occur at the highest levels of government over the policies that affect people’s lives often fail so miserably to reflect these basic core values.
Where are the jobs? That’s the question foremost on minds of everyday New Mexicans.
Yet while far too many New Mexico families continued to suffer through job loss, stagnant incomes and foreclosures, one proposal did not pass the Legislature last year – an initiative that would have gone a long way toward restoring some semblance of fairness and balance.
That proposal would have closed the tax loophole for out-of-state corporations – a tax giveaway that enables these corporations to avoid paying their fair share. All while New Mexico small businesses continue to invest in vital community services such as public safety and education.
Another proposal, which did pass during last year’s legislative session, unfortunately fell victim to the governor’s veto pen. It would have created a formal mechanism of accountability and transparency by requiring an independent review of all tax incentives.
So just at the time when New Mexicans most needed more transparency and accountability on the job creation front, this long-overdue reform was shot down. It would have established a strong, independent review policy to determine which of the large number of corporate tax giveaways stuffed throughout New Mexico’s tax code were actually delivering on their original promise to create actual jobs.
Tax “incentives” are fine, but New Mexicans have a right to know that they work, that they actually produce measurable results. This is what we mean by accountability.
Today the Legislature is back in session. And once again, it must grapple with the problems bearing down on middle-class working families.
New Mexico is at a crossroads
Nothing could be more obvious. The public policies needed to address our state’s challenges must be accessible and clear in the matter of who pays and who benefits. But with their armies of lobbyists, big corporations and the financial sector know how to play the game of pay-to-play in New Mexico.
New Mexico families can’t afford a lobbyist.
Yet they’re the ones on the hook when bad public policy is enacted. When out-of-state corporations take advantage of loopholes that sap our communities of resources needed for necessary investments in education and public safety, the consequences can be catastrophic.
The damage caused by these irresponsible policies are there for all to see – reductions in resources for firefighters and emergency responders, fewer teachers and increased student class sizes in our schools.
This is not how an attractive climate for new business activity to flourish is created.
It’s time that the governor and our lawmakers take note – if given the choice and all of the information, there can be little doubt that New Mexicans would defend the everyday heroes – our teachers and public safety personnel – against out-of-state corporations that earn and export massive profits while not paying their fair share.
An engaged citizenry is vital to our democracy
In order to engage all New Mexicans in these crucial policy debates, we’re distributing educational materials that focus on how state government affects the lives of everyday people – individuals and communities in New Mexico.
These fact-based materials are being made available to the public, as well as to constituents of legislators who serve on key committees that hear legislation focused on jobs, taxes, and the budget.
Moreover, due to redistricting, many constituencies will soon discover that they are represented by new state legislators.
That’s all the more reason why we want to help every New Mexican to be better able to engage in an active dialogue with their respective legislators and the executive. We’re fortunate to have a citizen state legislature that is accessible and responsive to everyday constituents. But our lawmakers can only respond when they hear the people. And to be heard the people must speak out.
New Mexico stands at this crossroads facing a fateful decision. Will we choose the priorities of Wall Street or Main Street?
We believe that New Mexicans deserve a state government that reflects the values they hold dear – fairness, transparency, accountability and hard work. It’s time to choose policies that generate jobs for the people of New Mexico rather than padding profits for out-of-state corporations that can afford to buy influence.
New Mexicans are open and honest and we entrust our elected officials to uphold those same values. When they don’t, we believe in a New Mexican citizenry – fully informed and engaged – that will hold them accountable.
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