2023 Legislative Session Update:
First the good news:
SB 523 Medical Malpractice is a new bill to fix a huge error in judgement by the governor and legislature a few years ago. In 2021 Governor Lujan Grisham signed legislation to increase the liability limit for which doctors and health practitioners could be sued to $6 million. No insurance company would cover that limit of liability and doctors, specialists and others began leaving the state and creating a huge shortage impacting health care in the state. After other bills this session were repeatedly killed or stalled, SB 523 is a bi-partisan attempt to fix the situation by lowering the liability limit to $1 million.
HB 547 Tax Changes was amended with a couple of changes we appreciate:
- The Personal Income Tax (PIT) changes that would increase PIT on high income earners and almost every business in the state was amended to remove those increases. The bill maintains a new lower tax for many New Mexicans.
- Social Security earnings exemptions would be indexed by the Consumer Price Index beginning in 2024.
Now for the bad news:
1) HB 547 increases taxes on various other items of over $114 million. We’ve already received notice during this legislative session from two businesses planning to shut down operations because of the ongoing assault of taxes and regulation against business in our state.
One of the worst parts of this bill is stripping New Mexicans of the right to virtually all their capital gains deductions. Current law allows a 40% deduction. This bill takes all of that away except for $2,500. The only exception is the sale of a business that would net 40% deduction if the value is $300,000 or less. This is a pathetic decision made by people who have no understanding of what capital gains mean to the average New Mexican. Nor do they understand what it takes to risk everything to build a business. Read more HERE.
This also begs the questions: Why would New Mexico increase any taxes when they have a $3.6 billion dollar surplus? And why would New Mexico tax Social Security earnings at all? This money is from post-tax earnings and should never be taxed by a state government.
2) State legislators serving as committee chairs and who do not want to hear from people opposing legislation are making testimony very difficult. We have received numerous complaints from people that committee chairs are requiring preapproval to speak, limiting the number of people who can speak, or cutting people off mid-sentence – not because the speaker exceeded the time limit but because the chair doesn’t want to hear what is being said.
This is a sad situation for New Mexico. Many in power think people with opinions that differ from their own should be subservient to their wishes. It’s not how anyone should be treated. This IS America and New Mexico is still part of the union.