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House committee endorses tax break for shoppers

SANTA FE — A bipartisan proposal to provide a tax break to shoppers at small businesses cleared its first committee on Wednesday.

The proposal, House Bill 79, would create a gross receipts tax deduction for retail sales at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, or “Small Business Saturday,” as supporters call it.

The tax break would be available at businesses with 25 or fewer employees in New Mexico.

The legislation is sponsored by House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos, D-Las Cruces, and Sen. Steven Neville, R-Aztec.

“We know that 68 cents of every dollar spent in a small business stays in the community,” Gallegos said in a new release. “By making Small Business Saturday tax free, we can give our small businesses a boost, while promoting economic security for our communities.”

The measure now goes to the House Taxation and Revenue Committee, potentially its last stop before the House floor.

A nonpartisan analysis completed by staff for the Legislative Finance Committee said the proposal failed to meet any of the LFC’s 11 principles for good tax policy and effective tax breaks — such as keeping the tax base broad and vetting the measure during the interim between legislative sessions.