Albuquerque’s City Council has signed on with $1.5 million of taxpayer money in support of a “hub” economic development concept from Florida. On one hand, we totally understand and appreciate Mayor Berry’s efforts to do something to spur economic growth independent of the federal government in Albuquerque.
Unfortunately, we remain skeptical about the likelihood of an investment of $1.5 million of city tax money (or more as the project develops) having the kinds of impacts seen in Florida. Rather, we’d like to see New Mexico’s liberal legislators wake up and realize that Florida’s success is driven by:
1) Having no personal income tax;
2) Being a “Right to Work” state;
3) An improving education system in which reforms (instituted by leaders like Hanna Skandera with the support of legislators) have led to dramatic improvement in areas like 4th grade reading. Check Florida vs. New Mexico.
These are just a few of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs and small businesses are likely to set up shop in Florida and not New Mexico. I don’t know if the $1.5 million that City Council allocated to this “hub” concept will be wasted or not, but chances for success would be much higher if New Mexico embraced the business-friendly policies found in Florida.