Worst advice for NM policymakers…ever?

Recently we posted on this site that a consultant recently told the Legislature the State is too reliant on fossil fuels. Duh!

That’s fine as far as it goes, but sadly (as the article was updated online) we learned that this consultant has some VERY BAD ADVICE for the Legislature in how to address the problem. Here’s their advice which sounds disturbingly like “diversifying revenues” and nothing like “diversifying the economy”:

  • Reforming the personal income tax structure and eliminating the capital gains deduction from these income taxes;
  • Reinstituting an estate tax;
  • Increasing the gasoline tax rate;
  • Broadening the gross receipts tax base;
  • Continuing to expand excise taxes.

Simply put, these are ALL terrible ideas and represent major tax hikes. Reforming the income tax and broadening the GRT base have merit ONLY if that means lowering tax rates and reducing those burdens.

Sadly, it appears that at least Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, the committee chairwoman, buys what the consultants are selling. She said “it will be important for the state to find other revenue sources to supplement oil and gas, otherwise New Mexico will find itself in a world of hurt.”

Well-meaning bad advice — Peter Cook