NM Policymakers ignore rankings at their (and our) peril

Recently, a group of New Mexico legislators heard numerous negative comments regarding the State’s business climate from national organizations like Tax Foundation and the Council on State Taxation.

As Dan Boyd at the Albuquerque Journal noted, New Mexico achieves poor marks in several categories relating to business taxation. Here are a few choice quotes, “I think we have to take a lot of those so-called rankings with a grain of salt,” Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos. Furthermore, Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, said factors like a state’s population and average income levels should be factored into tax rankings, but frequently are not.

These comments reflect nothing more than a case of denial. There are two kinds of data: anecdotes and hard data and if New Mexico was one of the fastest growing, most economically successful states (independent of the oil and gas industry), that would be one thing, but very few people believe that New Mexico has a thriving, diversified economy that could survive a major hit to the oil and gas industry on which it relies.

And it’s not JUST economic policy on which New Mexico fails, our policymakers are also failing our kids as the recent “Kids Count” report highlights. These people have no plan to improve New Mexico so they simply deny that a problem exists.