from the New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM – Members of the Better Choices New Mexico Coalition kick off their campaign tomorrow, Wednesday, to protect community services from state budget cuts. The Coalition says it favors a balanced approach to help cover the state’s projected budget shortfall, and that includes higher taxes.
New Mexico state lawmakers start their session today, January 18th, and face a budget deficit estimated as high as 450-million dollars. The Better Choices New Mexico Coalition is set to launch its “10 Ways in 10 Days” campaign Wednesday to prevent further cuts to vital state services like education, public safety and health care. Stephanie Maez-Gibson is Communications Director for the Center for Civic Policy, one of the nearly 40 organization members of the Better Choices Coalition. According to Maez-Gibson "Each day, one 'Way' will be sent out that will highlight how New Mexicans would be hurt by continued budget cuts, and it will also highlight potential revenue measures that could help address this revenue crisis."
New Governor Susana Martinez is proposing overall cuts to state spending of around three percent, and no tax increases. According to Maez-Gibson protecting education, often targeted for cuts, is one of the top priorities for the Better Choices New Mexico Coalition. She says, "We encourage legislators to hold education harmless and to prevent any further cuts to the classrooms. The education budget is a good chunk of the state budget, and therefore it could potentially take a pretty big hit if a budget is passed that does include cuts to state government."
The Coalition favors increasing revenues by rolling back state income tax cuts for the wealthiest New Mexicans. Maez-Gibson says there’s also a proposal called Mandatory Combined Reporting, which she says will level the playing field for small businesses, "Currently, New Mexico out-of-state corporations are not required to pay taxes on the profits that they earn in New Mexico."
The nearly 40 members of the Better Choices New Mexico Coalition include small businesses, faith, labor and nonprofit groups.
Doug Ramsey, email@example.com