Governor pushes for job creation

Posted at: 01/03/2013 5:28 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Governor Susana Martinez has a one word priority for this year's sixty day legislative session that starts in less than two weeks: jobs.

Martinez laid out her proposals for economic development for business leaders at a luncheon with the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce today. The big question is: How much can she get the legislature to pass?

The equation is pretty simple. Republican Governor, Democratic-controlled legislature. Gridlock? Both sides say no way, that's for Washington DC, not Santa Fe.

The governor's plan is a mix of tax breaks and incentives aimed at attracting companies to move to New Mexico and hire people. The package includes money to help companies train workers, money to help local governments invest in infrastructure and land to close deals with employers, and small business tax credits for hiring and retaining new employees.

The Martinez plan also includes a reduction in New Mexico's corporate income tax from 7.6 percent to 4.9 percent. Right now it's the highest among our neighboring states. In fact, Texas has no corporate income tax at all.

"I want those companies that are leaving California, I want them to stop right here in New Mexico," Martinez said. "I don't want them going over to Texas. I want to keep making those phone calls to the governor of Texas and letting him know that they're stopping here because we're competitive. We're in competition with Texas and Arizona."

Democratic legislative leaders told KOB Eyewitness News 4 they don't have much trouble with most of the Governor's proposals, but the corporate income tax cut could be in jeopardy, unless she can show how the state would make up for any loss of revenues. They say they'll be unveiling their own economic development agenda near the start of the session. Best bet? Some kind of compromise. Both sides like jobs. Nobody wants gridlock on these issues.