The two-year session of the New Mexico State Legislature adjourned on Feb. 18, 2016, with some important victories for small business. The next two-year session commences Jan. 17, 2017.
From the 2016 half
Defeated Income Tax Increases
As it did during the first half of the session, NFIB succeeded in stopping numerous attempts to raise income taxes by reminding legislators that 80 percent of small-business owners file their taxes as individuals.
Stopped Higher Minimum-Wage Rates
NFIB was instrumental in helping defeat all legislative proposals to raise New Mexico’s minimum-wage rate. The minimum-wage is an entry-level wage earned primary by teens, young adults, and the least skilled. Increases in the rate have the immediate effect of killing employment opportunities for the very young seeking their first jobs and those who have minimal skills.
From the 2015 half
Won passage of workers’ compensation change curbing premium increases
NFIB successfully helped push for passage of a bill by Sen. Pat Woods that fixed ambiguous language in state law which was fostering lawsuits. This correction in “permanent” total disability indemnity benefits (wage replacement) for injured workers returns predictability to business owners and prevents the potential for increased workers’ compensation insurance costs.
Obtained greater objectivity in tax disputes
NFIB lobbied extensively for a new tax administrative hearing officer. When you have a dispute with the state’s tax department, your appeal now goes to an independent hearing officer who will provide greater objectivity.
Improved condition for working with the state
Legislation making more information available on New Mexico’s Sunshine Portal for those who do business with the state was passed with support from NFIB and signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez.
Defeated minimum-wage increases
Nine bills were introduced to raise the state’s minimum-wage rate, and all were defeated in part to NFIB’s reminding lawmakers that minimum wage are earned almost exclusively by teens and young adults starting out on their work lives. Raising rates does next to nothing for middle-class wage earners or those mired in poverty. Instead, they reduce opportunities for the young and low-skilled to find a job.
Stopped increases in personal income tax
NFIB worked diligently to kill in committee five attempts to raise the state’s personal income tax rate.