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Bill to halt corporate tax rate cut derailed in House panel

SANTA FE — A solvency proposal to delay a scheduled decrease in New Mexico’s corporate income tax rate was tabled tonight in a House committee, likely signaling its demise for the ongoing special session.

The bill stalled in the House Ways and Means Committee on an 8-5 vote. Rep. Idalia Lechuga-Tena, D-Albuquerque, joined Republican members of the panel in voting to table the legislation, which passed the Senate a day earlier on a 21-20 vote.

The proposal to delay the corporate income tax cut was opposed by Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration, as top-ranking administration officials testified it could send a negative message to businesses interested in relocating in New Mexico.

The governor signed the tax cut — which gradually reduces the corporate income tax rate from 7.6 to 5.9 percent — as part of a 2013 tax package.

Proponents of the legislation, Senate Bill 5, said halting the scheduled tax rate decrease would generate up to $13 million in savings for the current fiscal year.

“We are simply asking the business community to partner in making the state a good place to live,” said Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Mesilla Park.

The bill was one of 11 budget-balancing measures approved Friday by the Senate. Most of the other parts of the solvency package are still in limbo at the Roundhouse.