Monday, February 23, 2009
Letters To Outlook
Handout isn't worth giving up freedom
In case you're not already painfully aware, since the election stocks have plummeted approximately 2,000 points. This demonstrates a tremendous amount of investor displeasure, or at best, uncertainty, with regards to the newly elected administration. And with so many of the newly appointed Cabinet members either coming under fire and/or resigning for various inappropriate activities or resigning due to an inability to reconcile the new Economic Stimulus Package, investor confidence appears to be non-existent.
It will be interesting (and possibly very frightening) to see what the future holds for those of us who have worked so hard only to see our retirements usurped by a government more focused on earmarks and entitlements than restoring the free enterprise capitalistic system that made America great for so many years. Most Americans seems to have forgotten a very important principle: whenever you accept a "handout" from another individual or entity (especially the government), you relinquish some degree of personal freedom.
Wayne J. Unze
When the law fails, vigilantes fill gap
Jerry Pacheco's column in Outlook was very much to the point. Vigilantes, although maligned by some people, are the natural reaction when law enforcement agencies are incompetent, corrupt, or overwhelmed by criminal gangs.
A close look at vigilantism in the United States bears this out. The case of Sheriff Plummer, leader of a robbery gang in Montana during the early 1860s, is a striking example of how a band of brave citizens coped with the failure of law enforcement in their midst.
When criminal gangs are so bold as to murder police officers and their families, as they did yesterday in Mexico, we can expect a resistance movement of law-abiding citizens to spring up to deal with them, to "fight fire with fire," as stated in Pacheco's column. It happened in Colombia, and it is happening in Mexico.
We have lost a wonderful sage
We will miss Charles Rundles, M.D.'s "letters to the editor," as he died two weeks ago. His letters opined on such subjects as budget deficits, quality of life, environment, airplanes, sailing, fishing, citizen responsibility, health care quality and cost control. He could've been called a "sage."
He was a fine OB-GYN doctor, delivering thousands of babies since arriving in Albuquerque in the early '50s. His education began on an Illinois farm then on to Cook County, New Orleans' Charity and William Beaument Army Hospital during World War II.
In addition to medical practice, Dr. Rundles and his wife developed a model farm in Los Chaves, and he became an arborist supplying neighbors and friends with apples, pears, plums and exotic fruits. He was a dog trainer and died holding the paw of one of his favorite Huskies.
Chuck had an epiphany twenty-five years ago when he felt he communicated with the Almighty and abstained from alcohol thereafter. This greatly enhanced the quality and productiveness of "senior years." He authored several interesting books. He will be remembered.
Ronald Cooper, MD
Fair Tax would help U.S. goods
Jason Lange wrote in support for the Fair Tax. It has many advantages and one of these would materially help U.S. manufacturing. The Fair Tax, as proposed, gives approximately 22 percent price advantage to U.S. produced goods. It does this by removing the embedded taxes placed during the production of goods and places this tax at the retail level, which allows a relative cost decrease for U.S. manufacturers relative to imports.
Corporate tax deadline corrected
Back in 2003, and for many years before, New Mexico corporations used to pay their estimated income taxes quarterly, and then they made a final settlement on March 15 of the following year.
But in 2003, because of an error in drafting a bill dealing with corporate taxes, the first of these quarterly estimated payments (April 15) was deleted from state law. Business tax rates didn't change, nor did the liability. The only thing that changed was the timing of the tax payment. The good news for businesses in 2003 was that they inadvertently received a no-interest loan. Last week, the Governor signed Senate Bill 80, which restored the first quarterly payment, due April 15, 2009.
As a break to business in 2009, the law requires companies to pay at least half the quarterly payment by April 15 and the balance by June 15 (along with the full second payment). In 2010, businesses go back to the normal, quarterly schedule: April 15, June 15, Sept. 15, and Dec. 15. It is important for corporations that are required to make these estimated payments to make them in a timely manner — because underpayment or late payment of estimated payments is subject to both penalty and interest.
By restoring the first quarterly estimated payment, the state will increase its revenues in the current fiscal year that ends June 30. We estimate that corporations will pay approximately $65 million in estimated taxes before June 30 — instead of making these payments in March 2010. These revenues will help the state to deal with its budget deficit during the current fiscal year.
Most importantly, the new law fixes a mistake made six years ago and it ensures that both corporate and individual taxpayers are being treated fairly and equitably when it comes to making estimated tax payments. If people have questions about the estimated payments, they can visit the Web site of the Taxation and Revenue Department, www.tax.state.nm.us, or they can call us toll free at 1 (866) 809-2335, option 2.
We thank all businesses, in advance, for their cooperation as we make this adjustment.
Secretary of Taxation