News from the Session: January 2012

Greetings and Happy New Year-

The thirty day 2012 legislative session begins January 17th. Because
this is our "short session," only bills related to the state budget and those items the Governor adds to the agenda will be considered.

Below is an outline of two bills I pre-filed and a request for your help.

Tax Equity for our New Mexico Businesses

For the eighth straight year, I am sponsoring legislation to close New Mexico's corporate tax loophole. We are the last western state with a corporate tax that lets multistate companies use subsidiaries to transfer otherwise taxable money out of New Mexico and avoid paying their fair share of corporate tax. Amazingly, this different set of rules is available only for out of state companies meaning our New Mexico businesses pay corporate tax while some of their competitors pay little
or no tax. This is unfair and needs to stop.

Senate Bill 9 requires all companies that pay corporate tax to play by the same set of rules and apply the same tax rates. For multi-state corporations, it requires a "combined return" which accounts for New Mexico's share of the corporation's profit.

Click here to see the pre-filed bill.

As you will see, not only does SB 9 level the playing field for New Mexico businesses, this year's legislation lowers the corporate tax rate. By creating one set of rules, the tax base is broadened leaving room for an across the board reduction in the corporate tax rate.

Cleaning up New Mexico's tax code continues to be a top legislative priority for me in 2012. Let's start by closing the corporate tax loophole.

Disclose Corporate Campaign Donors

A very important "transparency" bill this year is Senate Bill 11 which requires so-called "Super PACS" to disclose the names of donors when they engage in "express advocacy" for or against a candidate. After the extremely misguided decision by the US Supreme Court in Citizens United, corporations on both sides of the political spectrum can give unlimited money to independent expenditure committees. While states cannot cap the money coming into the political system, New Mexico can pass legislation to let the voters know the source of this money.

A similar version of this bill passed the state Senate in 2011 and was waiting to be heard on the floor of the state House when the session ended. The legislation has bipartisan support and was unanimously endorsed by the interim Courts Corrections and Justice Committee. It needs a message from Governor Martinez to be considered in the 2012 session.

Here is a link to SB 11.

How You Can Help

I am often asked what constituents can do to further these efforts. Here are some ways:

1. Contact the Governor's office asking her to add Senate Bill 11 to the 2012 agenda by clicking here.

2. Join the 3600 other New Mexican's who have signed the online petition to Governor Martinez and legislators asking them to "Level the Playing Field for New Mexico Businesses" by clicking here.

Once you sign, consider forwarding the petition on to your e-mail lists.

3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper supporting SB9, SB 11 or both.

4. Attend legislative committee hearings and testify for or against bills. This year we need committee rooms full of New Mexicans and New Mexico business owners telling legislators you are tired of some
corporations playing by a different set of rules. I assure you the lobbyists will be there for the special interests. Let's match them this year and make our voices heard.

I plan to "tweet" about the progress of these bills and other important
issues in the 2012 session.

My Twitter account is @senatorwirth which you can access either through or at my webpage by simply clicking the blue Twitter logo under my picture.

You do not need a Twitter account to view these tweets.

Do not hesitate to e-mail if you have questions. It is a great honor to represent Senate District 25 in the New Mexico Legislature.

Senator Peter Wirth

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