Stephanie Garcia Richard
County lobbies Legislature for LEDA expansion

One of the Los Alamos County Council’s legislative priorities for the 2016 New Mexico legislative session is an expansion of the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) that would allow small communities such as Los Alamos to utilize local economic development funds to incentivize retail development.

As it is currently written, state statute prohibits the use of LEDA funds for retail in any community larger than 10,000. 

“The majority of New Mexico communities under 25,000 still lack the retail activity that they want,” said Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher, noting that the 10,000-population cap “left out a huge number of communities.”

“We’re certainly interested in seeing that cap rise so we can at least level the playing field for our small community to attract more retail.”

HB 139, cosponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43) and Rep. Jason C. Harper (R-57), chair of the Ways and Means Committee, would allow communities up to 25,000 to utilize local economic development funds for retail development.