Rep. Joseph Sanchez/Courtesy Photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Rep. Joseph Sanchez has introduced a memorial in the Legislature requesting that any taxation task force convened in 2019 by the governor or the Legislature be requested to research and develop legislative recommendations and alternatives that can promote more equitable regional tax distributions from Los Alamos National Laboratory or similar federal research facilities in New Mexico.
Sanchez, a Democrat, represents Colfax, Mora, Rio Arriba and San Miguel Counties.
House Memorial 63 notes that LANL annually purchases more than $420 million in goods and services from suppliers in the state or more than 45 percent of its total purchases. It states that LANL awarded $269 million in small business contracts in 2018 and paid more than $1 billion in salaries, all of which has a direct impact on the state’s economy each year.
“Los Alamos National Laboratory’s operations and construction have resulted in over $80 million in gross receipts tax revenues annually for the state since 2006 and have also resulted in $3.1 billion in annual total impact on economic output across New Mexico from 2015 to 2017,” the memorial says.
It notes that Northern New Mexico communities and residents built and have maintained the facilities since LANL’s inception and are an indispensable component of the current workforce.
“The majority of (LANL) employees live outside of Los Alamos County, with approximately 55 percent of LANL employees residing in the surrounding counties, and the operations of the Laboratory impact all of Northern New Mexico,” the memorial states.
The memorial says there are current legislative efforts to tax LANL regardless of whether the Laboratory was to become a nonprofit entity and that the local revenue distribution from the LANL gross receipts tax currently paid to the state greatly benefits Los Alamos County and does not benefit the rest of Northern New Mexico. It states that the communities outside Los Alamos County contribute greatly to the success of LANL and that the importance of equitable regional tax distribution on communities and workforces outside Los Alamos County must continue to be examined.
The memorial also asks that the Legislative Finance Committee and the Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee study the issue in the event no taxation task force is commissioned in 2019.
The Los Alamos Reporter has reached out to Representative Sanchez but has not yet received a response.
The memorial has been sent to the House Local Government, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee.