- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico will no longer tax parts and labor for maintaining aircraft under a new law taking effect in July.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the tax break into law on Thursday along with a measure to establish a one-stop online portal in state government that will allow businesses to pay fees and file forms, such as licensing applications to operate in New Mexico.

The website portal is to be operating by July 2017. Currently, a business might have to deal with several agencies, potentially going to their physical offices or their individual websites.

“Creating this new online portal will make it easier for business owners and entrepreneurs to start and maintain their businesses,” Martinez said in a statement.

The governor signed the bills during appearances in southern New Mexico. The Legislature approved the measures during a recently completed 30-day session.

The tax break will help keep plane owners from having repairs performed by shops in other states, including Texas, Colorado and Arizona, that don’t charge taxes on aircraft maintenance, Martinez said.

A New Mexico aircraft services company, Santa Fe Aero Services, plans to buy an El Paso business and move it across the border to Santa Teresa, she said. The company’s expansion will provide jobs for about 20 technicians over three years.

“This is a very good day for the New Mexico aviation industry as we can now directly compete with our neighboring states, which will swiftly bring more work and new jobs to our industry,” said company owner Ron Tarrson, who employs about 20 people in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Martinez also announced several other business expansions projected to generate about 120 jobs in the growing Santa Teresa industrial development near the international border with Mexico.

The governor also signed bills that will:

-Allow the state to use money from an emergency transportation fund to help schools pay for rising fuel costs for school buses.

-Permit the Corrections Department to publicly sell furniture, such as desks, book cases and chairs, built by inmates as part of the corrections industries program. New and surplus furniture costing $300 or less can be sold. The agency historically has produced office furniture and equipment, including wooden name plates, for government agencies.


Follow Barry Massey on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bmasseyAP

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