Dreaming of the One-Stop Shop

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By Merilee Dannemann

Think New Mexico, the well-known Santa Fe public policy think tank, is tackling the issue of economic development, yet another of New Mexico’s perpetual weak spots. One recommendation is that the state should develop a single online portal for all business taxes, licenses and registrations, as an essential step in economic development and economic competitiveness.
Oh, that again. The mythical One-Stop Shop.
This has been batted around before, but not accomplished. However, Think New Mexico is pretty good at getting its proposals enacted. So let’s take it seriously and consider what would be necessary to do it right. This is a particularly touchy subject at the moment because of the embarrassing problems of the Affordable Care Act website.
During my years in state government, I observed repeatedly that New Mexico state agencies are generally terrible at communicating with business. Really. Terrible. They also are usually lousy at communicating with each other. So agencies don’t know what other agencies do, or how they affect the businesses they regulate, in part because employees aren’t trained on these issues, in part because many top managers don’t understand the need.

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