The US Senate, with the support of New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, recently passed legislation called the “Marketplace Fairness Act.” The idea behind the legislation is to set up a new taxation regime that would allow states to collect sales taxes on ALL online sales.
Currently, due to the US Supreme Court’s Quill decision of the early 1990s, online merchants must collect all sales taxes due if they have a physical presence in a particular state, but “mom and pop” merchants are not forced to act as tax collectors for the 9,600+ taxing jurisdictions throughout the United States. According to tables available online from New Mexico’s Tax and Revenue Department, there are 24 taxing districts in Bernalillo County alone and easily more than 100 statewide.
Lots of information relating to the debate on federal debts and deficits. Footage of the debate is posted below:
Also, Rob Nikolewski of Capitol Report New Mexico interviewed Estes and Gessing prior to the event with footage posted below:
(Albuquerque) Varying levels of economic freedom, both from country to country and state to state, have been widely studied by think tanks and government agencies alike. The strong trend is for economic freedom to be correlated with prosperity.
Nonetheless, few if any reports have directly compared the burden of government across often-arbitrary Western borders.
The new Rio Grande Foundation report, “Liberty, Opportunity, Prosperity along New Mexico’s Border,” is an attempt to localize the impact economic freedom has upon prosperity in New Mexico and border regions in neighboring states. (A summary of the report is available here) The report:
Said, Harry Messenheimer, PhD, author of the report, “Unfortunately New Mexico has a reputation is as an economically-unfree state, but on a county-by-county level, economic freedom varies widely.” Continued Messenheimer, “The borders between New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas are straight and essentially arbitrary. For that reason neighboring counties along those borders provide a particularly useful laboratory for study of how differences in state/local economic freedom affect prosperity.”
Concluded Messenheimer, “economic freedom often varied a great deal among counties, and we uncovered yet another strong link between economic freedom and prosperity. Based on private earnings per worker as an indicator of prosperity, counties with mostly high economic freedom tended to be 75 percent more prosperous than those with low economic freedom. Moreover, more federal spending was associated with reduced prosperity.”
In the days prior to the 2013 legislative session I visited Fred Martino at KRWG TV in Las Cruces to discuss the legislative session. We taped two segments of the program that recently aired and our now available online. See the segments below:
In recent months, the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) has proposed building a $146 million expansion. In our view there should be specific criteria on the use of taxpayer money for new construction. UNMH should meet these criteria which include: Does the public want it and, in a world of limited resources, is the proposed project our highest priority?
To find out whether BernalilloCounty voters share our concerns about the proposed hospital expansion, we asked them and found that voters don’t think the hospital is a top priority and that they do want more accountability when major projects like this are considered.
According to the Utah polling firm NSON, only 15% of the registered voters in BernalilloCounty would make the building of a new hospital a priority. The public’s main priority, with 46% support, was to have more health clinics for the poor throughout the County. Even a new psychiatric hospital with behavioral health services got more support, at 16%, than the building of a new hospital. Still others wanted drug and alcohol rehabilitation services (10%). The poll was conducted January 13-16 with 400 registered voters in BernalilloCounty with a margin of error of 4.9%.
(Albuquerque) The Rio Grande Foundation, using Utah-based polling company, NSON, polled 400 registered voters residing in Bernalillo County over three nights from January 8-10 on the proposed $146 million expansion of University of New Mexico Hospital. Poll results available here.
The polling found both widespread concerns about the proposed UNMH expansion and questions regarding such a large investment being made in this particular project without the direct approval of voters or elected officials.
• 54.2 percent of participants stated that “Funds should be reserved for the poor/ uninsured to only 29.7 percent who wanted their money spent on a $146 million hospital;
• 61.5 percent stated that they preferred to wait to see how the shape of health care might change once “ObamaCare” takes full effect. Only 24.7 percent wanted the hospital to be built right away. 7.3 percent completely opposed building the hospital;
• 71.6 percent expressed a desire to have the Bernalillo County Commission specifically approve and oversee the UNMH expansion as opposed to just 17.5 percent who felt that such approval and oversight were unnecessary;
• 46.1 percent of respondents, when informed of the $90 million that Bernalillo County taxpayers currently spend on UNMH, expressed a desire for a system of outpatient clinics throughout the County. 16.6 percent urged the construction of a new psychiatric hospital and more behavioral services. Only 15.3 percent urged expansion of UNM Hospital;
• A bare majority, 46.3 percent, stated that their “taxes for health care and the $90 million spent on UNMH annually” were “about right,” while 42.9 percent stated that their tax burden for UNMH was “more than they could afford.”
Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation said, “It is clear that the groups pushing for expansion of UNMH have not made their case to the citizens of Bernalillo County, the people who pay the bills for the hospital and its prospective expansion. Rather than trying to ram this project through yet another unelected body, we urge proponents of this hospital expansion to make the case to County citizens and their elected representatives. This project has very little support at this time. The voters of Bernalillo County have other health care priorities.”
The margin of error of this poll is +/- 4.9 percent.
See what the legislature is doing relative to tax and budgets:
I recently spoke to KRQE Channel 13 about the impending "Fiscal Cliff."