New Mexico‘s fiscal year 2014 executive budget includes a proposal for $10 million in Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding.
LEDA funds are intended to support new business development by building necessary infrastructure, including sewer lines and roads.
“It’s important that we use our ability to develop infrastructure to drive economic growth by incentivizing businesses to locate and expand in New Mexico,” said Governor Martinez. “We need to make it easier for businesses to start, grow, and succeed here.”
Surrounding states such as Texas with huge deal-closing funds have an advantage when competing for a project with New Mexico, whose anti-donation clause prohibits such closing funds. However, LEDA funding can help local jurisdictions invest in infrastructure projects to help close deals with businesses looking to relocate.
Gov. Martinez stressed on the fact that the proposed LEDA funds will not go directly to the businesses looking to expand or relocate, but will be entirely spent on New Mexico’s communities in order to help attract new businesses and job growth to communities throughout the state.
“We have to balance our support for growth and development with responsible management of taxpayer dollars,” Governor Martinez added. “This legislation will protect our investment and ensure that we are getting the intended return on funds that can make a real, positive impact on our state’s economy.
The legislation for this proposal will be carried by Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho). It includes a clawback provisions for any project receiving LEDA funds. Clawbacks reduce the risk to the state’s investment.
Rep. Harper said that his legislation upholds the intention of LEDA while also shielding taxpayers from a bad investment
“We should be supporting businesses who want to locate and expand in New Mexico, but from time to time those investments don’t yield the economic impact we were promised,” added Rep. Harper. “In the event that we do not see the kind of job creation that was promised and agreed upon by a business in order to receive taxpayer funding, New Mexico citizens should not be left holding the bag.”