Governor Martinez worked hard to diversify New Mexico’s economy and grow the private sector. Her efforts led to New Mexico’s job growth reaching a 12-year high when she left office and the unemployment rate falling from 7.8% to 4.6%.
Governor Martinez inherited an economy in recession that had been overly dependent federal government spending for decades. That’s why Governor Martinez went to work to diversify our economy by helping small businesses and private companies grow jobs in New Mexico. By enacting job creation measures, investing in infrastructure, and cutting taxes and fees 61 times, our economy is now more diverse than ever. She passed historic tax reform that made New Mexico’s business rate competitive with surrounding states that helped local businesses grow and attracted companies from outside New Mexico. Our unemployment rate dropped from 7.8% to 4.6% and our job growth reached a 12 year high, adding over 51,000 new private sector jobs and attracting companies like Facebook, Netflix, Safelite, and Union Pacific.
AN ECONOMIC TURNAROUND IN NEW MEXICO
When Governor Susana Martinez took office in 2011, New Mexico faced its largest structural budget deficit in state history ($450 million on a total budget of roughly $5.5 billion). Sadly, New Mexico had become known for its high business taxes, over-regulation of the private sector, government corruption, and routine over-spending – all of which made it difficult to recruit new companies to the state. For decades, New Mexico’s economy had lacked diversification and become over-reliant on the federal government for its employment and state revenues.
Working with Democrats and Republicans alike, Governor Martinez oversaw a true economic turnaround in New Mexico. She worked diligently to diversify New Mexico’s economy, improve the state’s ability to compete for new jobs, expand economic opportunity and trade with Mexico, and make the state an easier and fairer place to do business. By 2018, New Mexico had a $2 billion budget surplus, its economy was growing across the board, and businesses large and small were choosing to make the state their home.
During her time in office, Governor Martinez:
Restrained Government Spending and Put New Mexico’s Fiscal House in Order
- Cut wasteful spending across government, capped cabinet secretary salaries, reduced the number of political appointees, and vetoed over $130 million in excessive spending and wasteful pork projects proposed by the Legislature
- Balanced the budget every year without raising taxes, despite a reduction in federal government spending and steep decline in energy prices that hit New Mexico hard
- Vetoed over $1 billion in proposed tax increases passed by the Legislature
- Chaired the State Investment Council and oversaw the investment of nearly $23 billion – a portfolio that more than doubled in value during her time as governor
Cut Business Taxes and Red Tape, Making the State More Welcoming for Businesses
- Passed comprehensive tax reform that reduced the corporate income tax rate by 22%
- Cut taxes and fees 61 times
- Enacted single sales factor apportionment for manufacturers and headquartered operations
- Curbed gross receipts tax pyramiding in the construction and manufacturing sectors
- Improved government efficiency and streamlined regulations; for example, permit approval time to drill oil and gas wells fell from 6-8 months per permit to less than two weeks
Expanded Economic Development Incentives to Compete for Jobs and New Investment
- Launched a $50M closing fund for economic development projects, bringing in over 8,000 new jobs and hundreds of new businesses
- Expanded the Job Training Incentive Program, which helps companies expand their workforce by paying a portion of new employees’ salaries during their training phase
- Helped homegrown businesses expand and recruited businesses from around the country and across the globe to New Mexico, including billion-dollar investments from companies like Facebook and Netflix
Grew Private Sector Employment Across the Board
- Created well over 50,000 private sector jobs in New Mexico since 2011
- Reduced the unemployment rate from 7.8% to 4.6%; job growth reached a 12-year high
- Launched the acclaimed “New Mexico True” state brand, which led to seven years of record-setting tourism growth in the state and helped create thousands of new leisure and hospitality jobs across the state
Built a Critical Trade and Transportation Hub Along the U.S./Mexico Border
- Worked with the governor of Chihuahua, Mexico to plan and initiate the development of a binational economic corridor around the inland port of Santa Teresa
- Opened a massive Union Pacific transloading rail facility in Santa Teresa and invested over $124 million in border-area infrastructure projects that helped rapidly fill industrial parks with new manufacturing, transportation, and logistics companies
- Increased annual exports from New Mexico by over $1 billion during her tenure
During Governor Martinez’s time in office, Ernst & Young named New Mexico the best state in the western U.S. for manufacturing, New Mexico led the nation in exports, and the Cato Institute recently recognized Governor Martinez with an A+ rating (one of only 5 governors to receive an A grade or better) for “…her repeated actions of vetoing wasteful spending and commitment to keeping New Mexico’s general fund budget flat, (in addition to pursuing) tax reforms to make her state more economically competitive, including cutting the state’s corporate tax rate, and consistently rejecting and vetoing tax increases proposed by the legislature.”