BY RYN HERRMANN
Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce
There’s a lot going on in Los Alamos and New Mexico that our local small businesses should have on their radar.
New Mexico’s Sick-Leave Law Went into Effect July 1:
The Healthy Workplaces Act of 2021 is a law requiring all private employers in New Mexico to allow employees to accrue and use a benefit called earned sick leave. The law went into effect July 1. The Act lets employees earn and use paid sick leave. Employees may use this leave for various reasons listed in the Act, like the employee’s or their qualifying family member’s illness or injury, or to deal with certain legal and family issues. Employers who do not honor an employee’s rights to sick leave faces potential civil liability. The Act authorizes the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) to investigate violations and enforce the Healthy Workplaces Act. For more information, visit this link.
Sales Tax Rate Change in New Mexico and in Los Alamos County:
Through HB 163, New Mexico became one of the first states in many years to reduce its state-level sales tax rate, which the state refers to as its gross receipts tax. July 1, the state rate dropped from 5.125 percent to 5.00 percent, with a further reduction to 4.875 scheduled for July 1, 2023.
The minimum combined 2022 sales tax rate for Los Alamos County is now 7.19 percent, which is a recent decline. This is the total of state (5 percent) and county sales tax (2.19 percent) rates.
The Gross Receipts Tax rate varies throughout the state from 5.125 percent to 9.4375 percent. It varies because the total rate combines rates imposed by the state, counties, and, if applicable, municipalities where the businesses are located. The business pays the total Gross Receipts Tax to the state, which then distributes the counties’ and municipalities’ portions to them.
Changes to the tax rates may occur twice a year in January or July. The Department posts new tax rate schedules online and in the GRT Filer’s Kit, located in the following link. From January through June of 2022 the GRT in Los Alamos County was 7.3125 percent. From July to December 2022 the GRT is 7.19 percent. For more information visit this link.
Chapter 16/Mod 3 (Development Code) Public Meeting:
(Link) Los Alamos County Development Department (CDD) and its consultant, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini (DPS) released the last of the three modules (Module 3) to update the Chapter 16 Development Code July 18 for the public to review. The draft document is available online. In addition, the public is invited to a virtual open house 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2. Representatives from CDD and DPS will present a summary of the most significant proposed changes to Module 3 and hear public comment. Interested members of the public may join the meeting using this Zoom link.
Back-to-School Tax Free Holiday
The annual New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax Holiday is right around the corner! If you have school-age children, it’s nothing short of a bonanza. For that weekend the state suspends collection of gross receipts tax on sales of qualifying items so you can buy the items tax free.
The tax holiday begins 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, and concludes at midnight Sunday, August 7. During that time the law provides a deduction from gross receipts for retail sales of qualifying tangible personal property; in effect allowing the retailer to sell the items “tax free.”
FYI-203, Gross Receipts Tax Holiday contains a list divided into categories, but please note that within some categories there is a set dollar maximum. To qualify for the deduction, clothing or shoes must be priced at less than $100 per unit. The price limit for desktop, laptop, tablets or notebook computers is $1,000, and for related computer hardware it is $500. School supplies for use in standard, general-education classrooms must be under $30 per unit. There are items specifically excluded by statute in all categories. Those items are always taxable.
County Community Development Department to Host 2 More Public Meetings on White Rock Draft Metropolitan Redevelopment Area Plan:
Los Alamos County’s Community Development Department (CDD) will hold three meetings to present the draft Metropolitan Redevelopment Area (MRA) Plan to redevelop three locations in White Rock to stimulate economic and community development.
The three properties include the area adjacent to the Del Norte Credit Union on Rover Boulevard, the Longview neighborhood, and the vacant McDonalds/Time Out Pizzeria on N.M. 4.
The first meeting already took place.
The remaining two meetings are scheduled as follows:
- Wednesday, Aug. 17 – The second meeting, specifically scheduled to solicit community feedback, will be an in-person open house at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17 at the White Rock Library Multi-Purpose Room, 10 Sherwood Blvd. Locals are invited to drop in between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. to view the proposed redevelopment plans, ask questions of staff and the consultant and provide input.
- Tuesday, Sept. 20 – Lastly, the Tuesday, Sept. 20 Council meeting will be the third opportunity for the community to view the draft Plan and provide input during the public comment section of the meeting. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave. Staff will present to councilors the draft Plan, with public comments from the open house.
The draft MRA Plan is part of a multi-year effort that the County has undertaken to define the community’s vision for the White Rock downtown. Supporting the adopted 2016 Comprehensive Plan and the 2021 White Rock Town Center Master Plan, it identifies priority projects and programs to create a redevelopment implementation plan to revitalize the area.
For more information, visit the White Rock MRA Plan webpage or email Sayeda at Sobia.Sayeda@lacnm.us.
Local Small Business Development Center at UNM-LA Recently Hosted Several Business Workshops:
The new Director of the SBDC at UNM-LA, Sandy Jones, recently hosted several relevant workshops on topics such as People Management and Commercial Property leases. Watch these recordings at the NM-SBDC YouTube page or reach out to Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to schedule a free consulting appointment.
The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce keeps businesses updated on topics of interest, such as the aforementioned items. To join the Chamber, contact Chamber Director Ryn Herrmann at email@example.com or Chamber Member Services Manager Sam McRae at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Los Alamos Chamber, visit losalamoschamber.com.