Audit faults NM for failing to assess tax breaks

Aug 24, 2012

Legislative auditors say New Mexico fails to properly evaluate its economic development efforts to determine whether the state's tax breaks and other financial incentives for businesses are justified.

A report released Thursday by the Legislative Finance Committee estimates it's costing New Mexico $31,000 to attract a job with a $43,000 average salary. However, the head of the Economic Development Department called that figure "wildly inaccurate."

The state's economic development incentives cost an estimated $467 million from the 2007 to 2011 budget years, with about 80 percent of that from tax breaks offered to businesses, such as for creating high-paying jobs or jobs in rural areas. The state also subsidizes the training of workers in jobs created by businesses that move to the state or expand their New Mexico operations.