By Bruce Krasnow
The New Mexican
An effort that had broad support to bring in more money to New Mexico government by taxing all internet sales has mushroomed into a measure to raise additional money from hospitals, trucking companies, nonprofit organizations and car buyers.
Democrats say the amendments to House Bill 202, originally an effort to raise $30 million by expanding the gross receipts tax to out-of-state internet transactions, are necessary to restore cash reserves and put the state on better financial footing to avoid further cuts to school districts and another credit downgrade.
With the changes, the bill is now expected to bring in $265 million in ongoing revenue. Some $1 million a year would come from the legislative retirement fund.
A sponsor of the tax bill, Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, said lawmakers have cut spending, both during the 2016 session and again in an October special session. "We've swept up under every rock" to find the dollars needed to pay for public services, Trujillo said.
What's left are tax increases. "This is a difficult thing to do, but I believe it's the responsible thing to do," he said.