Thursday, December 17, 2015

NM Landowners testify against elk-hunting tax

On the heels of the Taxation and Revenue Department’s efforts to collect back taxes on the sale of elk-hunting authorizations, landowners are asking legislators to exempt such sales from gross receipts taxes. Ranchers contend that the authorizations issued by the Department of Game and Fish – which can then be sold to hunters or outfitters or brokers – are intended as compensation for damage done to their private land by elk herds. “It makes absolutely no sense that the state gives this compensation for damages and then demands part of it back as gross receipts tax,” Gerald Chacon told the interim Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee on Wednesday. Chacon, of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, said most landowners were shocked to be notified recently by the tax department that they owed up to seven years’ back taxes on the authorizations they sold. The proposed tax exemption would apply to future transactions but not the back-taxes collection. The New Mexico Wildlife Federation opposes the tax exemption, saying elk are a public resource and the tax is appropriate...more

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