Encourage small business growth through new-hire tax credit

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Across our nation, hardworking men and women have found themselves out of work in the wake of our national economic crisis. New Mexicans are no different. As of December 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that New Mexico has an unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, leaving approximately 59,000 people without jobs.

That means there are 59,000 people struggling to make ends meet and having difficulty putting food on the table for their families. There are New Mexico children who are having to go without basic necessities, because of this jobs crisis. Families are tightening their belts and being forced to prioritize their financial needs. We have seen small signs of hope, only to have unemployment and job loss continue. While the situation may look dim, there is a solution. We must work to encourage small business growth and help job creators find a way to put New Mexicans back to work.

We all know that the government does not create jobs; the hardworking innovators and job creators, known as our small business owners, do. As a result, we in the legislature can take steps toward increasing their opportunities to grow and expand, creating more jobs and moving us forward to economic stability.

With this intent, I have sponsored House Bill 499, which creates a new job income tax credit for small businesses. Basically, when a small business — an employer who employs fewer than 25 people — hires a new employee, they become eligible for a tax credit.

Our small business owners are often highly taxed. When large amounts of money are taken out of their businesses, the government ties their hands against expansion and job creation. However, by creating a new hire tax credit, we can help put more money back into their businesses to allow them to create jobs and reduce New Mexico unemployment. Additionally, as more people go back to work, state revenues rise and our local economy will undoubtedly see a boost from an increase in consumer purchases.

In New Mexico, we are hardworking people, and we have a can-do attitude. That motivational drive combined with a genuine solution to our economic crisis will have lasting results. By coming together to pass HB 499, we as a legislature can make a legitimate difference not only for the New Mexico economy, but also for the families across our state who have been struggling with unemployment. Faced with such a truth, we have to ask ourselves: if we can make a difference, why wouldn’t we do so?