As has been widely reported, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla recently set up shop on the Nambé Pueblo near Santa Fe. The company which typically sells its cars directly to consumers had been unable to do this directly under New Mexico Law.
Curiously this move drew praise from Gov. Lujan Grisham who has in the past supported legislation to repeal New Mexico’s ban on direct-to-consumer vehicle sales. Environmental groups which like electric vehicles also cheered the move.
At the Rio Grande Foundation we agree that direct-to-consumer car sales should NOT be banned by the State. And, while tribal sovereignty is also a mixed bag (tax differences lead to high rates of cigarette smuggling in NM and loss of gas tax revenues due to sales on tribal lands), we’d love to see Native tribes and pueblos consider additional options for policy competition with the State.
Once upon a time (until NM did it) tribes could have made a mint on marijuana legalization. They still could if they got rid of government red tape and allowed free market health care to flourish. What are some ways YOU think tribes and pueblos might use their sovereignty to compete with the State?