April 24, 2017
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Morning Word: Amazon Primed to Collect NM Gross Receipts Tax

March 6, 2017, 7:30 am

Amazon to Start Collecting 'Sales' Tax
We suppose it was going to happen sooner or later. The online retailing behemoth has announced it will start charging gross receipts tax as of April 1. KOAT reports the tax will be 7 percent. It'll certainly help the state's foundering revenue and some say the tax will level the playing field with local retailers. But man, those were some savings. New Mexico is one of just six states where Amazon doesn't charge sales tax.

House Panel Kills Death Penalty Bill
Despite being the political centerpiece of last fall's budgetary special session and once again earning support from Gov. Susana Martinez, a bill to reinstate the death penalty failed to make it out of committee. The House Consumer and Public affairs committee tabled it—effectively killing it—on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Democrats voting to table.

Anti-Abortion Bills Blocked After Emotional Testimony
The votes by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee were hardly a surprise, but that did nothing to stem the tide of emotion surrounding abortion during the hours-long debate this weekend over two bills. The committee blocked both a bill to prevent abortion after 20 weeks and a parental-notification bill for minors.

State Higher Ed System Struggling
New Mexico has 31 colleges and universities, each with its own governing board. Cuts to higher education funding by the governor and lawmakers, combined with declining enrollment, are straining all those institutions to the point where most have already cut staff, some may cut programs and perhaps a few won't be able to keep the doors open.

Not Really The Narrative That We're Used To
When former journalist John Fleck set out to write a book about water in the West, covering the “what’s next” after the classic Cadillac Desert, he expected to tell more stories about epic subterfuge as arid states battle one another for a precious resource. Instead, he found himself drawn to the places that were working toward solutions. New Mexico in Focus sat down with Fleck to talk about his book and New Mexico’s connection to the quest for water in the West.

That'll Be $32.07, Plus All Your Account Information
Filling up in the Duke City has become a riskier proposition. Albuquerque has been hit by a wave of card-skimming schemes, where thieves use ever-more-advanced devices to steal data from the cards you use to pay at the pump. Some gas stations seal access to their pumps so it's easier to know if someone's messed with the machine.

Bill Lets Judges Order Domestic Abusers to Give Up Guns
A bill that passed the state Senate would let the court temporarily order domestic abusers to turn over their guns. They could collect the firearms only when the court lifted a protection order related to the case.

Hempy Monday
The House and Senate have both approved a bipartisan measure to make New Mexico one of more than 30 states that have an industrial hemp research program. It's on the governor's desk.

Thanks for reading! The Word wishes you a day full of thrills, pills and bellyaches.

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