Richardson Suggests GRT Hike

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson says there's still time for the Legislature to reach a budget compromise and he suggests lawmakers consider a gross receipts tax increase to help raise revenues.

Richardson made the comments Tuesday in urging the House and Senate to resolve their differences over spending cuts and tax increases.

The governor said he will call a special session next week if the Legislature fails to approve a budget before adjourning on Thursday.

Richardson said lawmakers should consider a small gross receipts tax increase. He suggested one-eighth or one-quarter of a cent rather than the half-cent increase in a House-passed bill. He also suggested possible increases taxes on junk food and cigarettes to help raise money to balance the budget.