Deregulating the Albuquerque Economy to Restore Prosperity

(Albuquerque, NM) – With the mandatory paid sick leave ballot measure rejected and a mayoral runoff looming, the Rio Grande Foundation is again pressing for policymakers to consider reforms that will improve the struggling local economy.

Numerous data points illustrate the economic challenges faced locally, but the “recovery index” created by Albuquerque Business First shows the economy to be just 81.1 percent recovered from the “Great Recession” which began a decade ago.

Said study author Dowd Muska, “Albuquerque’s next leaders will face tremendous challenges. Although crime is one such challenge, getting the economy on a sound footing is equally important and more easily achievable.”

The Foundation has previously put forth an array of fiscal reforms, but the latest brief, “Fixing ABQ Economic Development” specifically targets government policies that inhibit economic growth as well as those that are supposed to generate economic growth, but merely shift resources from productive to unproductive uses.

  • Hold the line on and then start reducing tax rates and burdens;
  • Overhaul the zoning and permitting processes in ways that provide necessary protections, but are also understandable and concise. ;
  • Eliminate the local minimum wage and consider adopting a local “right to work” ordinance instead;
  • Stop using tax dollars, land giveaways, and other incentives to goose economic development. These only shift dollars from tax producers to tax “eaters” and they shift policymakers’ attention away from basic, proven policies.

Policymakers in the City of Albuquerque cannot continue down the same old path of bigger government and overregulation lest it continue to see crime increase and citizens flee to other more economically-dynamic locations.

Adopting even some of the ideas in “Fixing ABQ Economic Development” would provide a meaningful signal to businesses and citizens alike that Albuquerque “means business” about economic growth.