Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reforming the TIDD Gravy Train...Make that call!

marjorie says...

While we're debating presidential elections and hashing the movies, the State Legislative Session is in full swing and many New Mexicans are only thinking about the many issues currently being debated at the Roundhouse. One of them is particularly dear to my heart (see maggie, I have those sorts of things also. Tax policy gets me every time!).

Today House Bill 451 is being heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 1:30pm. HB 451 is a bill that would reform the state TIDD legislation, which is the original opening of what can only be considered a Pandora’s box of massive tax subsidies to large corporations.

Please call members of the Judiciary committee this morning and ask them to support the bill, the details of which you can find on SWOPblogger.

HB 451 doesn’t do away with TIDDs, but it does lower the allowable percentage considerably, and it attaches accountability measures to TIDDs given in Greenfields. In this sense, it represents compromise. A lot has been written about TIDDs in the past year, both here and elsewhere. Those who are critical of these massive tax give-aways are often portrayed by TIDD proponents as unreasonable. But in fact, I can attest to a complete unwillingness to compromise on the part of the development community during negotiations with Councilor Cadigan to amend the City legislation last year. Their recalcitrance aside, there needs to be more oversight and accountability built into the legislation, at the very least.

And thats one thing HB 451 does at the state level. The truth is that as currently constructed, the state legislation allows a tremendous drain on the general fund, which is a major source of funding for social services and education throughout the state. We can't afford to leave it the way it is, allowing up to 70% of GRT diversion with few controls in place on the back end.

Luckily, there are already a lot of Representatives who agree. I was surprised by how many signatures were scrawled on the Bill…at least 20 had signed right off the bat. I hope you all will call the committee members today, and in the coming week as needed, and encourage the rest of our legislators to take a serious look and support this bill.

The members of the House Judiciary Committee are:

Rep. Al Park (D) Chair
Rep. Joseph Cervantes (D) Vice Chair
Rep. Elias Barela- SPONSOR (D) Member
Rep. Gail Chasey - Co-signer (D) Member
Rep. Daniel R. Foley (R) Member
Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D) Member
Rep. W. Ken Martinez (D) Member
Rep. William "Bill" R. Rehm (R) Member
Rep. Mimi Stewart (D) Member
Rep. Thomas E. Swisstack (D) Member
Rep. Gloria C. Vaughn (R) Member
Rep. Eric A. Youngberg (R) Member
Rep. Teresa A. Zanetti (R) Member

You can find their contact information here: http://legis.state.nm.us/lcs/legislatorsearch.asp.

ps You might think the title of this post only refers to TIDDs, but in fact, TIDDs are just one part of the massive New Mexico gravy train. A local expert told me the other day that almost 50% of our tax code is frittered away through tax credits, and he also said that once passed, a tax credit might as well be considered permanent because they are never revisited. Want some dough? Get yourself a tax credit!