Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico delivered her first State of the State address on Tuesday, and although she did not specifically mention manufacturing, she had a lot to say about improving the state’s business climate. It’s not necessarily a popular political move to talk about global competition, but it’s a necessary topic for state leaders to tackle.
From the speech:
We must recognize that in a global economy, businesses will choose to locate and expand in areas that encourage – not impede – job growth. When a company is deciding whether it will operate in Albuquerque or Denver… in Roswell or Midland… in Farmington or Laramie, the deciding factor often comes down to the state’s tax structure and regulatory policies….
If our state is going to compete, if we’re going to ensure our children can find a goodpaying job close to home when they graduate, then New Mexico must become more business-friendly.
Less than two weeks ago, I announced that Union Pacific Railroad will move its hub from El Paso, Texas to Santa Teresa, New Mexico. More than 3,000 jobs will be created for the construction with 600 permanent jobs. To close the deal, we must put New Mexico on even footing with Texas and eliminate the tax on locomotive fuel.But we must do much more than provide targeted tax credits to certain industries. That’s not the “be all and end all” of economic development. We must set the stage to make wholesale changes to our tax structure and become more competitive with our neighbors.
Her sole reference to industry (singular) came in her call for a reduction in state subsidies for the film industry.
The Republican governor devoted quite of bit of time to the state’s tax system and concentrated on small business as a jobs creator. She announced the creation of Office of Business Advocacy within the Economic Development Department to aid small business and called for sensible regulation to aid job creators.
Rational regulations will remain, but irrational red tape will be cut.
To be clear, regulations such as Pit Rule 17 and Cap-and-Tax do not move us toward a cleaner environment.
Instead, they move jobs to the other side of the state line.
A strong start for a governor who wants to lead New Mexico on a path toward jobs and economic growth.
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