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Congressman Pearce touts small business tax reform

Rep. Steve Pearce speaks at Haciendas at Grace Village about the impact of tax reform on small businesses on Monday during a news conference. The company said thanks to tax reform it is expanding now rather than later and hiring more personnel, boosting salaries and adding more training. (Josh Bachman/The Las Cruces Sun-News via AP)

LAS CRUCES — Congressman Steve Pearce touted the benefits of tax reform for small businesses in New Mexico Monday at a Las Cruces company that plans to hire more people and increase salaries for existing employees.

“The decision was not firmly made until the tax reform went through,” said Gary Coppedge, CEO of Haciendas at Grace Village, an assisted living and memory care facility.

“Gary’s overall tax rate is decreasing from 36 percent down to 21 percent. That’s a huge decrease,” said Pearce.

The Republican congressman and the CEO talked about the impact of tax reform at a news conference Monday.

Haciendas at Grace Village had planned to expand in the future but the company is moving forward now because of lower taxes according to Coppedge. The assisted living facility which has 49 employees may hire as many as 40 additional people.

“They’re a combination of caregiver jobs and management jobs. It’ll be a blend of every level of employment we have here,” said Coppedge .

He said the company will also provide salary increases, bonuses, and more training for current employees.

“The story of small business in New Mexico is the story of jobs in New Mexico,” said Pearce.

The Republican congressman said he’s heard from other small businesses with plans to expand because of tax reform including a pistachio grower in Alamogordo and minority owned business in Clovis. Both are doubling their workforce from 12 to 24 employees.

“We just feel businesses will take the long term view share with their employees. I think we’re going see a great change in the middle class,” said Pearce.

The rest of New Mexico’s Congressional delegation opposed the Republican tax reform bill. Democratic lawmakers warned it offered tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of working families by increasing the debt which would force Congress later to cut programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Critics also noted individual tax cuts expire in 10 years but those for corporations are permanent.

Pearce expects lower taxes to bring more manufacturing companies back to the U.S. and add more money to individual paychecks.

“That was dream and hope when we voted for this bill and to see it actually playing out is great…,” said Pearce.

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