It has now become an article of faith on the left in New Mexico that Gov. Bill Richardson’s 2003 tax cuts were a failure. Several tax hike bills including (at least) two that would raise New Mexico’s personal income tax rate have been introduced this session including:
SB 56: Sen. Bill O’Neill’s bill to increase New Mexico’s top personal income tax rate to 8.2% (the bill was heard in Senate Tax on Thursday);
SB 89: Sen. Bill Tallman’s bill to increase New Mexico’s top personal income tax rate to 6.5%;
You MAY recall that the Richardson cuts took New Mexico’s top income tax rate from 8.2% down to 4.9% over 5 years where it was until 2019. The cuts ALSO cut capital gains tax rates in half. These were REAL tax cuts and they passed the Democrat-controlled House without a single dissenting vote and passed the Senate by a margin of 39 to 2 and were signed into law on Valentine’s Day, 2003.
Richardson and Were Richardson’s tax cuts REALLY a failure? No. In fact, none other than the liberal “fact checking” site PolitiFact said that Richardson’s job creation claims (made in advance of his 2008 reelection campaign) were “mostly true.”
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that New Mexico gained 75,800 jobs from December 2002 to July 2007, which is slightly lower than Richardson’s claim.
As our friends at FactCheck.org note in this article , Richardson has consistently cited the higher number, even when the actual number was lower.
For our ruling, however, we’ll rely on the current 75,800 and call it mostly true.
PolitiFact further quoted none other than NMSU economist (one of NM’s top economic gurus) Jim Peach approvingly.
Peach said Richardson’s tax incentives and income tax cuts have created a favorable atmosphere for business that is a stark change from the state’s mentality in the mid-1970s, when state officials refused to provide help to a promising young company named Microsoft.
The climate here has changed considerably since then, Peach said. Bill Richardson has been a big part of that. He’s not the whole story, but he’s been a big part of it.
The fact is that if Richardson were governor today he would be too conservative for New Mexico’s Democratic Party on both guns and taxes.
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