February 23, 2019

Bill Updates

The Senate shot SB 106, sponsored by Senator John Sapien (D-Bernalillo and Sandoval), off the rocket docket on Friday, January 24, 2019 launching it to the house on a vote of 36-5.

The bill would eliminate the exemption from lodger’s tax for those renting one or two rooms for less than 30 days, thus requiring all providers of short-term room rentals to pay the same tax.

The lodger’s tax is used by communities for tourism marketing. The measure is commonly referred to as the AirBnB bill. Web platforms like AirBnB and VRBO
have agreed to collect the tax.

The Chamber is a big supporter of this legislation as it will bring a more fair playing field into, not only Angel Fire, but all New Mexico communities.

It will capture Lodger’s Tax money to help fund advertising for much needed events that bring tourism into our village.

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Also last week, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D – Santa Fe) announced that -instead of simply allocating the House’s portion of capital outlay equally among all Representatives, which has for decades led to under-funded projects and smaller-scale projects rather than a focus on larger investments in state infrastructure – will pool a portion of each Rep’s funds into an $80 million large-scale infrastructure investment bucket. Each House member would be giving up a little more than $1.1 million to a centralized fund that could be flowing into some major statewide projects if the Speaker’s plan is carried out. However, those legislators will still likely end up with more than the approximately $600K they’ve each been averaging the last several years due to the revenue spike this year, so this may be a win-win situation.

Dipping into legislators’ individual capital outlay allocations has been a bit of a third rail in New Mexico for some time now. Governors of both parties have for years called for capital outlay reform, and the Chamber has long supported investing capital dollars on bigger projects with regional or statewide implications. The state should be undertaking projects that help solve big problems that span various local communities that those local governments can’t fund on their own.

Stay tuned.

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HB31 PHASED IN Minimum Wage Bill

HB 31 introduced at NM Legislation would raise minimum wage from $7.50 an hr to $10.00 per hr July 1, 2019 then to $11.00 in 2020 then to $12.00 in 2021. It would increase yearly to keep up with the cost of living. It would also remove the minimum wage exception for tipped employees who currently make less
than minimum wage. We will be watching the outcome.

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