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Gov. Susana Martinez signs tax incentive legislation

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law legislation that will expand tax breaks for investors, high-tech employers and thousands of New Mexicans that incur out-of-pocket medical expenses.

At a ceremonial bill signing today at an Albuquerque research park, the Republican governor described the tax package measure — approved by legislators during a special session last week — as a way to bolster the state’s economic competitiveness.

“It provides us with additional tools to help us compete for new jobs, new inventions and new businesses in the tech industry,” Martinez said,.

The bundle of tax breaks appeared doomed after lawmakers adjourned their 60-day regular session in March without approving it.

However, after business groups pushed for it to be revived, it was retooled and placed on the agenda of last week’s special session. It passed the House on a 60-2 vote and cleared the Senate via a 31-11 vote.

The tax package includes seven different tax break provisions, most of them expansions or extensions of existing credits.

While some lawmakers had expressed concern about the relative uncertainty of the tax package’s fiscal impact, business leaders said today it will have a positive impact on the state’s economy.

Gary Tonjes, the president of Albuquerque Economic Development, said the tax incentive package was already generating corporate interest in New Mexico.

“These strategic moves are making important structural changes to (tax code of) the state of New Mexico,” Tonjes said during today’s news conference.

With today’s bill signing, Martinez has now signed two of three bills passed by legislators during the single-day special session.

She said she expects to the sign the final bill — a $295 million capital infrastructure bill — on Wednesday.