By Staci Matlock, the Santa Fe New Mexican
The House approved a bill Friday that lawmakers say will attract jobs to New Mexico by giving larger businesses a discounted electricity rate but lets utility companies recoup the money by charging more to families and small businesses.
House Bill 296 would help New Mexico attract manufacturing jobs, increase the tax base and put the state on par with 29 others that offer a reduced electricity rate to manufacturers and other businesses, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque. “We just want to attract businesses that we think are best for our economy, that hire in state and sell out of state,” Maestas said.
- Hires at least 20 people at salaries of $40,000 or higher.
- Commits to staying in the state for at least a decade. The company could only get the reduced electricity rate for seven years.
- Uses at least 2 megawatts of electricity
- Has invested or will invest at least $5 million in fixed assets in New Mexico, including machinery.
- Plans to sell at least 50 percent of its product out of state.
- Agrees to pay back all of its discount to the utility if it does not meet obligations.