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NM copying other states' job creation models

Updated: 12/17/2013 6:30 PM | Created: 12/17/2013 6:28 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Call it "stealing" if you want to--"borrowing" sounds nicer. Either way, state lawmakers are looking at what other states are doing while they grapple with New Mexico's ongoing jobs crisis. The idea is to see what's working elsewhere and give it a try here, where the economy lags behind most of the nation when it comes to job creation.

One bill already drafted for the legislature's 30 day session that starts next month would give huge tax rebates to businesses that expand or relocate here, but only after they create secure new jobs. New Mexico has seen more than its share of companies that cut and run, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.

"This is a new twist on making sure the performance is there first, before they get the valuable tax rebates the state gives out," said Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, a Sandia Park Republican who is co-sponsoring the bill with Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, a Democrat from Las Cruces.

Fred Nathan, head of the Think New Mexico public policy think tank, admits he swiped the idea from one of New Mexico's neighbors.

"This idea came from Utah, where it's been very effective and it's created over 25,000 high-paying jobs in five years," Nathan said.

Another idea, borrowed from several states, is to offer in-state college tuition to foreign students majoring in STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering and math. Lawmakers think this would encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities here.

One more idea, borrowed from Delaware originally and now about 17 other states:  create a single Internet portal where businesses can go to quickly and easily file forms and pay fees and perform all the other red-tape tasks the state requires. Nathan calls it "one stop shopping".


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