New Mexico Wants Real Shared Sacrifice

Michelle Kavanaugh – Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Here in New Mexico, our legislative session has just begun. Governor Susana Martinez gave her “State of the State” address touting her accomplishments during the last year: selling the corporate jet, firing the chefs at the Governor’s mansion and getting rid of “non-essential government vehicles.” These accomplishments were under the guise of “shared sacrifice” during this time of economic hardship, however, these are only first steps – there is much more to be done now that New Mexico’s legislature has convened.

New Mexico’s poverty level is 18 percent. What is 18 percent, you ask? That’s over 400,000 New Mexicans are living under the poverty line. Even worse, 1 in 4 of New Mexico’s children now live in poverty.

Those are startling numbers, but they’re numbers reflected in the faces Working America canvassers and organizers see every day.  Often our members are forced to decide between paying for necessary medication or food, paying the electric bill or the rent, paying for gas to get to work or replacing their child’s worn-out shoes.

New Mexicans are indeed, “sharing the sacrifice,” so you can imagine the frustration many New Mexicans feel when they see corporations doing business in in our state that are not sharing that sacrifice in the slightest. Currently, most corporations in New Mexico do not pay state taxes and these corporate tax loopholes have drained millions of dollars of the state.

Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has introduced Senate Bill 9 which would close that corporate tax loophole. The bill lowers the tax rate for all New Mexico businesses and increases revenue by fairly taxing the five hundred corporations currently not paying their fair share.

If Governor Martinez and the New Mexico Legislature truly feel that we all must share the sacrifice, then they must take action now. This additional revenue into the state would allow for infrastructure projects that would create quality jobs for those unemployed New Mexicans who have shouldered so much of the burden during these unstable economic times.

Our political leaders must hear from us on this important issue. They need to know that giving up the corporate jet just isn’t enough.

1-888-717-0911 connects to the New Mexico State Capitol Switchboard. Tell your Senator and Representative to support Senator Wirth’s Senate Bill 9.


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