If you want broadband, stop taxing it!

Governments have a way of claiming they want something, but if you actually look at government policies that are in place, it becomes obvious that government policies are the largest obstacle to whatever that “something” is as this policy brief from Margaret Mire at Americans for Tax Reform would seem to indicate.

Consider broadband deployment in New Mexico, for example. With children in parts of our State NOT going to school in-person until 2021, there has been an increased emphasis on broadband deployment.

New Mexico is a big, sparsely-populated state and broadband deployment is a challenge. 25% of New Mexicans don’t have access to it. And worse, according to the LFC $325 million has been spent on broadband deployment over just the last four years with little accountability.

But did you know that New Mexico imposes gross receipts taxes on broadband investments? This Albuquerque Journal article is from 2016 but nothing has changed since then as bills have been introduced and died each year.

Proponents say the deduction provides an incentive for broadband expansion and would be an economic development tool. The deduction would apply to investments in construction of new infrastructure and equipment such as transmission facilities, fiber-optic and copper cables and switching equipment for serving new areas. It would apply only to systems capable of delivering download speeds of at least 10 megabits per second and upload speeds of 1 mps.

“The idea is to stimulate new broadband infrastucture in the state because we’re so far behind the rest of the country,” said Katherine C. Martinez, director of legislative affairs for CenturyLink of New Mexico.

Seems like the Legislature should stop taxing broadband investments if they want more deployment.

Tribes Lead The Way For Faster Internet Access In New Mexico | KUNM

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