Chatting with Chad - Wildlife Habitat

Chatting with Chad

You see it every day as you drive around New Mexico - elk, antelope, ducks and deer making themselves at home on privately owned lands.  In fact, agriculture provides habitat for 75% of the nation’s wildlife.  As you know, habitat is not just a safe space, it’s also access to food and water.  Grain crops such as corn and milo are consumed by birds, while forage crops such as alfalfa and hay are grazed by elk and deer.  To reimburse farmers and ranchers for this loss, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish began issuing hunting permits to land owners affected by wildlife in the mid-70’s.  These permits can be sold, allowing farmers and ranchers to recoup revenue lost to wildlife.

Unfortunately, the Tax and Revenue Department has recently decided to enforce a little-known statute that allows them to collect gross receipts tax on sold permits.   Many land owners have received letters encouraging them to enter into managed audits to avoid penalties and interest charges.  As your agricultural voice in the Roundhouse, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau is actively involved in mediating this issue.  In the words of Alexa Sandoval, Director of NMG&F, “Private land owners play a vital role in helping manage wildlife across the state.”   Why would the state want to impair that relationship?  Stay tuned for further legal and legislative developments.