Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Balanced Budget Task Force to be Webcast

A state task force looking at ways to balance the ailing state budget will Webcast its remaining meetings, the head of the panel announced today.

Rick Homans, secretary of the state Taxation & Revenue Department said in a news release the web camera will be in place for the next meeting Dec. 10 — which is being held in Farmington, as well as the final meeting, Dec. 17, which is taking place at Santa Fe Community College. Both meetings are scheduled for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“We want to open this discussion on possible revenue options to as many New Mexicans as possible and this technology provides access far beyond the rooms where we are meeting,"

Homans said. “I also encourage people to go to our Web site and to use it to provide comments, opinions and suggestions so that we can include all of this information in our final report to the governor.”

The live stream will be available on the task’s force’s Web site, www.nmrevenueoptions.com.

The task force has been considering a number of possible tax increases to offset diminished revenues. Among taxes that could be affected are personal income tax and, excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. The group also has been debating whether the state should again start imposing gross receipts taxes on food. That tax was lifted in 2004.

The panel, which was appointed by Gov. Bill Richardson last month, is scheduled to submit its final report to Richardson on Dec. 21. The Legislature convenes about a month later.