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New Mexico received more bad news recently with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that the state lost 2,200 jobs between February and March, while 33 other states and the District of Columbia added jobs.
While I can’t speak to how the other states are improving, one thing is certain — New Mexico is at a distinct disadvantage with its tax policies and recent package of tax increases passed by the legislature.
In our tax-happy climate, it may seem unlikely that cutting taxes could be a way out of our current economic malaise. And it will take additional efforts in making New Mexico more business friendly to restore jobs to the state.
But cutting taxes is one way to stimulate private sector businesses to take a chance and add jobs here. This is not a hypothetical solution. My friend, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, proved it works. As governor from 1994-2001, she cut the state’s income tax by 30 percent ( $1.2 billion), reduced her state’s sales tax by 1 percent, cut energy taxes by 45 percent, eliminated state income tax altogether for citizens earning $7,500 or less, and enacted a plan to return $1 billion annually to New jersey residents in property tax rebates. The result: 450,000 new jobs were created and New Jersey began leading the country in growth and direct foreign investment.
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