Kudos to ACI for putting forth a solid reform agenda for New Mexico

Too often in New Mexico, the business lobby has attempted to overcome our state’s poor business climate by providing enough tax credits, deductions, and handouts to bring certain well-connected businesses to town. That may be changing and we at the Rio Grande Foundation couldn’t be happier.

See this article in which Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI) president Beverlee McClure outlines a solid, free market agenda for the 2013 legislative session. For starters, McClure acknowledges that New Mexico can no longer rely on our weather and spending from Washington, a point that we have made repeatedly over the years. Better still, according to the article:

ACI will be supporting a variety of economic development legislation, including bills regarding a single-weighted-sales factor, right-to-work requirements, an economic development closing fund, and informed consent for flight from Spaceport America.

McClure said New Mexico needs to develop a state-wide economic development plan that identifies the jobs and industries it wants to attract. Once a plan is in place, lawmakers can work to pass tax and other bills to attract those industries

Now, we’re not exactly fans of government efforts to identify jobs and industries to the exclusion of others, however, political and economic realities being what they are, there is a low likelihood of this Legislature and Governor agreeing to far-reaching, market-based policy reforms. And, at least ACI is talking about attracting “industries” rather than specific “companies.” We’ve seen how the Eclipse and Schott deals fell apart and taxpayers were left holding the bag. Focusing on targeted industries is a much better option.

The corporate tax reforms (and presumably rate reductions), right to work, and spaceport informed consent provisions are all solid. Once again, kudos to the ACI team.

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