Steve Hansen: Hoping for a prosperous 2016

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By Steve Hansen

Former QCS Managing Editor

I’m not making predictions or resolutions, but there are a few things I would like to see happen in 2016.

It will be a presidential election year.  I’d like to see the nation elect a president who understands that campaign promises cannot be fulfilled by a single individual. The Oval Office is not a throne room.

It will be a summer Olympics year. I won’t care about this as much as I used to. But it’s far more satisfying to watch amateur athletes compete for their countries and individual recognition than to watch people make a living.

Admittedly, letting all athletes compete is far less hypocritical than paying an athlete an enormous salary for a two-hour-a-week secretarial job to allow the competitor to prepare for the Olympics like a pro.

Producing top athletes has become so costly, unfortunately, that the line between pro and amateur is nearly impossible to find.

A 30-day session for the New Mexico Legislature begins Jan. 19. I’d like to see legislators attack some real issues like reform of the state’s gross receipts tax system.

Gross receipts taxes hit every wholesale and retail layer of production and marketing and are widely perceived as excessive and unfair.

Tucumcari, Logan and San Jon share one of the higher gross receipts tax rates in the state at 8.375 percent.

Any solution, however, would also have to address heavy dependence of county and local governments on gross receipts tax revenues.

Speaking of business deterrents, I would like to see a non-politicized team study what New Mexico needs to  do or stop doing to attract businesses that bring career-oriented jobs to the state, bypassing simplistic partisan “solutions.”

Locally, I would like nothing more than to see some community efforts begin to bear fruit, starting the city’s and county’s climb back to prosperity.

These promising effort include Tucumcari’s proposed Rawhide Days event, the Economic Development Corporation’s workforce certification project, Tucumcari MainStreet initiatives and Tucumcari’s Tourism Committee, including arts and cultural efforts, among others.

And of course, I wish all of our readers a Happy New Year.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

stevenmhansen@plateautel.net

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