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New Mexico Telegram » Economy, Featured, Governor » Gov. vetoes tax expenditure budget again

Gov. vetoes tax expenditure budget again

Gov. Susana Martinez again vetoed a bill to create a tax expenditure budget, or a budget that would examine the effect of tax incentives.

This is the second time that Martinez has vetoed such legislation from Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque.

Martinez said it was both unnecessary and that it could violate the confidentiality of taxpayer information.

“As a result of my 2011 executive order on this matter, the Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) compiled a thorough report in 2012,” Martinez wrote in her veto message. “TRD will continue to update that report as needed.”

As for the confidentiality concern, Martinez wrote:

Although taxpayer names, addresses and IDs are specifically excluded in the bill, in instances in which one large firm dominates an industry or region, it can be fairly easy to determine the identity of a taxpayer from information about a tax expenditure. Thus, publishing financial information about a tax expenditure can effectively release proprietary information of the affected taxpayer. Under current law, TRD is prohibited from publishing such information and therefore it is generally redacted in their reports.

Senate Majority Whip Keller responded to the veto with a statement.

“We desperately need this information to inform our policy decisions,” Keller said. “17 states are doing this. It is the prerequisite for meaningful tax reform and job creation.”

On Twitter, Keller was even more to the point and blunt (though that is largely because of the 140-character limit on Twitter):

Keller had previously been critical of the governor’s tax expenditure budget, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.Keller also noted that the report contained no comprehensive policy recommendations except to suggest “broad based tax reform” without specific proposals. And, as the report itself acknowledged, it also didn’t answer the question of which tax expenditures have been effective and which haven’t.

“The ability to analyze the specific benefits of the tax expenditures is largely beyond the scope of the analyses summarized in this report, and will require a concerted, multi-agency effort,” the report says.

Keller’s bill would have addressed these criticisms — but it was once again vetoed. This is the third time a similar bill has been vetoed, twice by Martinez and once by then-Gov. Bill Richardson.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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