session review forecasts revenue crunch by FY 2010
An analysis of the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee’s
2008 Post Session Review shows that the state’s tax revenues
will not keep pace with New Mexico’s economy or inflation,
creating a budget shortfall as early as FY 2010, which begins in
Released on May 21, the analysis is laid out in the report “New
Mexico’s Revenue Forecast: The Coming Drought,” released
by the child advocacy organization New Mexico Voices for Children.
“The state’s own projections are for a deficit of $8
million in 2010 that will grow to $122 million by fiscal year 2012,”
said Gerry Bradley, Research Director for NM Voices and the report
author. The analysis shows that all of the state’s major sources
of revenue, except taxes on oil production, are expected to slow
in coming years. While taxes on oil and natural gas increase as
prices for these commodities rise, production continually declines
as resources are depleted.
“Unless we find new revenue streams, the state will be forced
to cut services and programs,” said Bradley, “and new
priorities that are already being discussed, such as the school
funding formula, are even less likely to be implemented.”
The report poses several policy solutions for increasing revenue.
Among them are implementing combined reporting, which would require
multi-state corporations to pay their fair share of corporate income
taxes on their profits here, and closing a loophole in the state’s
personal income tax code that essentially allows filers who itemize
to take the same deduction twice. These two initiatives alone would
bring in an estimated $140 million a year.
The Fiscal Policy Project is a program of New Mexico Voices for
Children and is made possible by grants from the Annie E. Casey
Foundation, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the McCune
Charitable Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, and the W.K.
Kellogg Foundation. For more information, call (505) 244-9505 or
visit www.nmvoices.org or www.nmfiscalpolicyproject.org.
Attorney General’s report: small Internet
service providers being bullied
Attorney General Gary King’s office today filed a report
and a motion before the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), asking
the commission to open an investigation into unfair billing and
business practices by Qwest and Windstream phone companies.
In response to a request for the report from the PRC, telecom specialist
Assistant Attorney General Brian Harris presented a report to commissioners
detailing how small New Mexico companies that provide essential
Internet services to small towns and cities are being forced out
of business or are struggling to stay alive by monopolistic practices
of the two largest incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) in
Some of the more egregious examples include a monthly bill that
exceeds five thousand pages, billing errors that consistently favor
the ILEC, arbitrarily imposed termination liability fees, an enduring
“run-around” when the small business tries to solve
the problem with the ILEC, improper threats to shut down service,
and improper “slamming” of broadband customers. Many
of these businesses, at great expense, have had to devote at least
one full-time employee simply to trying to decipher the bills. Some
companies have ceased operation, at great dislocation to their customers;
others have had their customers experience enormous frustration
when they are caught between a phone company and their local Internet
“There exists a market asymmetry right now where small Internet
service providers depend on big companies that control what the
small companies can offer to their customers,” says Harris.
“We are asking the PRC to eliminate this advantage, promote
competition, and protect consumers by stepping in.”
The Attorney General’s Office is also urging the commission
to conduct hearings statewide to obtain more first-hand accounts
of billing problems and associated business practices by the ILECs.
Internet users find new twist on old scam
The “Winning Notification” states it is from the “New
Mexico Sweepstakes” and the email message begins, “The
prestigious New Mexico Sweepstakes and aol has set out and successfully
organised a Sweepstakes marking our 60th anniversary we rolled over
Two Million US Dollars for our end of year Anniversary Draws.”
Two of the signs that a questionable email message is a hoax are
misspellings and poor grammar. This scam email contains both.
The email advises winners to contact “your fiduciary Agent”
with information that includes, but is not limited to, your full
name, country, occupation, age, sex, ticket numbers, and batch numbers.
This type of inquiry is common with what are known as “phishing
Do not provide the information requested. If you receive the “New
Mexico Sweepstakes” or any similar variation, forward it to:
Call the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-678-1508 for more