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New tool designed to help forecast tax revenues

Kai Porter
December 12, 2017 06:55 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The next legislative session begins next month, and lawmakers are already buzzing about the topic of tax reform. Lawmakers will use a new tool to tackle the issue.

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During the last legislative session, lawmakers decided to pay an accounting firm $400,000 to do a tax study. On Tuesday afternoon, the findings of that student were presented to a legislative committee here at the roundhouse.

Sen. Bill Sharer, R-Farmington, has been a big supporter of trying to reform and simplify the state’s complicated tax code.

"Because of its complication, I think it actually drives industry away from New Mexico," he said. "They’re looking for a great place to be. New Mexico is a great place to be, but then they look at our tax code and go 'let's go somewhere else." 

Sharer said the tax study produced a computer system that will give lawmakers a clearer picture of how different tax reform options will raise revenue.

"Now I think we have a tool that we can plug numbers into and have confidence that those numbers are going to mean something useful to tax reform," he said. "So our number one problem with tax reform in the past has been fear because we don’t really know. Now we have a tool to help us know."

Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, agrees lawmakers need simplify the state’s tax code, but he said reform shouldn’t include more tax breaks for the wealthy and state corporations.

 "That's the big concern on our side, as well as keeping enough revenue to pay for schools, to pay for cops, to pay for social workers that the government has that helps us live in a community that we can be proud," he said. 

Sharer said he already plans to introduce a major tax reform overhaul bill in the upcoming legislative session. The session starts Jan. 16.

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Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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