SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 2, waiving annual liquor license fees, another boost for hard-hit businesses in New Mexico.
“Waiving these fees is another way of delivering much-needed support for the businesses that have faced inordinate challenges throughout this incredibly challenging year,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “The food and beverage industry is a key piece of our economy, and these businesses anchor so many of our communities – and as we continue to move ever closer to ending the worst of this pandemic, I am confident this state support will help as they bounce back as quickly as possible. I’m grateful to the Legislature for all of their quick work on this and other essential pandemic relief measures.”
Senate Bill 2 waives the next annual fee for renewed liquor licenses and for all new licenses issued in 2021. License fees can range as high as several thousand dollars annually. It is estimated the waivers will save businesses in New Mexico roughly $3.5 million in total.
Senate Bill 2 was sponsored by Sen. Brenda McKenna, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, Rep. Liz Stefanics and Rep. Matthew McQueen.
This latest pandemic relief measure signed into law by Gov. Lujan Grisham complements additional economic stimulus efforts from the state, including:
- $200 million in small business grants through the Local Economic Development Act
- A revamped recovery loan fund, making available an additional $500 million to small businesses with very low borrowing costs and no payments due for the first year
- A four-month Gross Receipts Tax holiday for food and drink establishments, saving those businesses an estimated $90 million
- A $600 personal income tax rebate for the thousands of New Mexicans claiming the Working Families Tax Credit, sending an estimated $110 million into the state economy through the many front-line workers earning $15 an hour or less
The blessing feast scheduled for March 15 will be rescheduled to April 1st and 2nd due to recent unforeseen circumstances.
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division is expanding its in-person operations as COVID-19 case counts are improving statewide. MVD is also launching a new appointment scheduling system on Monday that will increase the number and type of appointments that can be made online at MVDonline.com.
The scheduling system will not be available this weekend so that existing appointments can be transferred to the new system, called MVD Direct. There is no need for customers who have already scheduled appointments to rebook them.
The new MVD Direct scheduler will allow customers to check in to their appointments via text message from their cars and then receive a text notification when their number is called.
Customers will be able to access the new scheduling system using a link on the home page of mvdonline.com.
To comply with public health restrictions and help limit the spread of COVID-19,
appointments at larger offices, such as those in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces, have been limited to first-time New Mexico licenses, first-time RealID licenses and for dropping off in-state vehicle title transfer and registration paperwork. However, MVD is expanding appointment capacity and the transaction types offered thanks to improving conditions.
Transactions will continue to be conducted by appointment only, and the number of people allowed in MVD lobbies will continue to be limited in compliance with the state public health order. With the exception of counties designated as ‘red’, customers will no longer be screened at the entrances, but they will be asked to check a box when making their appointments agreeing not to show up for appointments if they are exhibiting any symptoms related to COVID-19.
Throughout the pandemic, MVD has worked to move more of its services online to meet customer demand while ensuring COVID-safety. About 3,200 transactions per month are currently being completed outside of MVD offices due to innovations made by MVD throughout the pandemic.
As of March 4, 2021:
*Includes testing by IHS & NMDOH
**New cases: 3 (since 2-26-21) (average of 0.50 new cases/day)
Direct Contacts: 6
Food Box Distribution
Monday, March 8, 2021 @ 11 AM
Activity Hall parking lot
SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 3 into law, a pair of economic measures that earned broad bipartisan support in the Legislature and will deliver additional stimulus and relief for businesses and individuals across New Mexico.
In addition to legislation the governor has already signed into law that will provide for $200 million in small business grants, the economic relief measures signed Wednesday will deliver a $600 personal income tax rebate to hundreds of thousands of front-line and low-wage workers, provide for a four-month tax holiday for food and beverage businesses hit especially hard by the economic effects of the pandemic, and make up to $500 million available to New Mexico small businesses seeking loans at a discounted borrowing rate.
“Dollar for dollar, I would put New Mexico’s direct stimulus efforts up against any other state in the country,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “We have provided hundreds of millions in unemployment support; small business grants, loans, tax holidays; and now direct rebates for the front-line workers who have continued to show up to support themselves and their families, and who deserve all the support that their government can provide. This pandemic has been devastating for everyone, but the pain has been spread unequally. My hope is these economic relief efforts reach those who need them most, and my commitment is New Mexico will continue to step up and support those who need it now and in the future as we build out a successful and sustainable recovery.”
“Small businesses have fought long and hard to keep their doors open and people employed throughout this pandemic,” said Rob Black, president and CEO of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce. “Paired with the recently enacted $200 million in LEDA grants of HB 11, these measures provide a crucial suite of tools for economic recovery.”
Senate Bill 1 grants a personal income tax rebate of $600 to families and individuals claiming the Working Families Tax Credit – individuals who earn $31,200 or less; and heads of household, surviving spouses or those married filing jointly who earn up to $39,000. Roughly 200,000 New Mexicans claimed the Working Families Tax Credit in 2019, according to the Taxation and Revenue Department.
Taxpayers who believe they are eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit and the new income tax rebate are urged to file their 2020 Personal Income Tax returns as early as possible. The state Taxation and Revenue Department urges all taxpayers to file electronically, which expedites processing and puts refunds and rebates into taxpayers’ hands more quickly.
“We know many New Mexicans have been hit hard this past year, so we will get this money out to taxpayers as quickly as possible,” said Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke.
Senate Bill 1 also provides for a four-month gross receipts tax holiday for food and beverage establishments, including restaurants, bars, food trucks, small breweries, wineries and craft distilleries, which have been financially impacted by the pandemic. The Taxation and Revenue Department will soon issue instructions to businesses on how to claim this credit. The bill holds local governments harmless by creating a distribution equal to the amount of revenues that would have otherwise been due.
Senate Bill 1 was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, Sen. Jacob Candelaria and Rep. Javier Martinez. It was approved by the Senate unanimously and by the House of Representatives 66-1.
Senate Bill 3 will allow more businesses to tap into what is now a $500 million pool of loan money at a discounted borrowing rate. The bill extends the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund created by the Legislature last year and makes funds available from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund. The new bill substantially eases eligibility standards so more businesses can connect with the financial assistance they need. Under the previous program approved by legislators in special session last year, 890 businesses received $40.5 million in loans.
The New Mexico Finance Authority will manage the SB3 loan fund and an announcement will be made when the application is available.
New Mexico Finance Authority CEO Marquita Russel said the loan requirements for revenue losses and documentation have been eased, and the changes in SB3 will allow more of the 160,000 small businesses in the state access to the low-interest lending.
“The Small Business Recovery Loan Fund has already supported more than 5,000 jobs in the state. It has been a lifeline for many small businesses and now many more will be able to participate,” Russel said.
Senate Bill 3 was sponsored by Rep. Marian Matthews and Sen. Jacob Candelaria. It was approved by the Senate 35-3 and by the House of Representatives 51-17.
Roadrunner Food Bank
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 12:30pm
Mescalero Community Center parking lot
Remember to wear your mask!
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public of a widespread fraud scheme in which telephone scammers impersonate DEA agents in an attempt to extort money or steal personal identifiable information. A new public service announcement aims to raise awareness that DEA will never phone demanding money or asking for personal information.
There are variations in the false narrative, among them, that the target’s name was used to rent a vehicle which was stopped at the border and contained a large quantity of drugs. The caller then has the target verify their social security number or tells the target their bank account has been compromised. In some cases, the caller threatens the target with arrest for the fictional drug seizure and instructs the person, over the phone, to send money via gift card or wire transfer to pay a “fine” or to assist with the investigation or with resetting the bank account. A portion of an actual scam call was captured by DEA and can be heard here.
Employing more sophisticated tactics, Schemers have spoofed legitimate DEA phone numbers to convince their target that the call is legitimate, or texted photos of what appears to be a legitimate law enforcement credential with a photo. The reported scam tactics continually change but often share many of the same characteristics. Callers use fake names and badge numbers as well as names of well-known DEA officials or police officers in local departments. Additionally, they may:
- use an urgent and aggressive tone, refusing to speak to or leave a message with anyone other than their targeted victim;
- threaten arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and, in the case of medical practitioners and pharmacists, revocation of their DEA registration;
- demand thousands of dollars via wire transfer or in the form of untraceable gift card numbers the victim is told to provide over the phone;
- ask for personal information, such as social security number or date of birth;
- reference National Provider Identifier numbers and/or state license numbers when calling a medical practitioner. They also may claim that patients are making accusations against that practitioner.
DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment, will never request personal or sensitive information over the phone, and will only notify people of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by official letter. In fact, no legitimate federal law enforcement officer will demand cash or gift cards from a member of the public. You should only give money, gift cards, personally identifiable information, including bank account information, to someone you know.
The best deterrence against these bad actors is awareness and caution. Anyone receiving a call from a person claiming to be with DEA should report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov. The Federal Trade Commission provides recovery steps, shares information with more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies and takes reports at reportfraud.ftc.gov. For any victims who have given personally identifiable information like a social security number to the caller, can learn how to protect against identity theft at www.identitytheft.gov.
Reporting these scam calls will help federal authorities find, arrest, and stop the criminals engaged in this fraud. Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law, punishable by up to three years in prison; aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison plus fines and restitution.