“Friday morning she said there was no deal,” Smith told The New Mexican. “At 10:30 a.m., she turned it off and said there was no deal, but I went ahead and had it drafted.”
The “it” Smith refers to was a comprehensive tax bill that passed the Legislature in the session’s final minute Saturday. It includes one of the governor’s priorities — a lower corporate tax rate as well as a single-sales provision to reduce taxable business income. It also includes two measures valued by Democrats — an increase in film and television production credits and a combined reporting formula for taxation so big-box retailers will have to pay taxes to New Mexico for out-of-state activities. Smith’s bill has been criticized for the way it came together — it was approved by the House in the final seconds before the constitutionally required noon Saturday adjournment — and some say the final vote was past noon.
Rep. Stephen Easley, a freshman Democrat from Santa Fe who voted against the bill, said the last 60 minutes soured what had been a collegial and respectful 60-day session. “It was a good session, everyone was treated fairly by the speaker until the last 30 seconds, when the fix was in,” he said. “There was no debate, no discussion on this bill. That was unfortunate.”
But Smith said that is the nature of the Legislature: “I don’t know of any other way to do it when we’re running out of time.” Read more