Richardson Appoints Tax Increase Panel

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson has named a 42-member task force to review tax increase proposals that could be considered next year to help solve New Mexico's budget problems.

The governor said Friday that Taxation and Revenue Secretary Rick Homans will serve as chairman of the group. The first meeting is Monday in Santa Fe. Future meetings will be in Albuquerque, Farmington and Las Cruces.

Task force members include representatives of local governments, educational and public employee unions and business interests ranging from agriculture and liquor to oil and natural gas.

Richardson has said tax increases are inevitable in next year's legislative session. The state is projected to need at least $400 million next year to maintain a no-growth budget.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.