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New Mexico State University

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Bill signing increases special events opportunities for Pan Am Center

New Mexico State University officials are applauding Gov. Richardson's March 15 signing of House Bill 143 into law. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Mary Helen Garcia of Doņa Ana County, allows a promoter to bring a non-athletic special event to NMSU without being charged a gross receipts tax on ticket proceeds. The change will be effective July 1, 2007.

"NMSU is now on a better footing with regard to competing against El Paso facilities for major shows that are routing through the area," said Will Lofdahl, director of Special Events.

In 2001, the event facilities in El Paso received a reprieve from a tax on their ticket proceeds, Lofdahl said, which made the El Paso facilities more attractive to event promoters and producers because it was less expensive to perform there. He said the passing of HB 143 puts NMSU in a better position to compete for events.

"For example, let's assume there is an event that can potentially sell 10,000 tickets and the price of a ticket is $50.00. The potential gross proceeds for the event would be $500,000. Before yesterday's passing of HB 143, a tax of $25,000 would be charged to the promoter at NMSU, but no tax would be charged if the promoter picked a facility in El Paso as the site of the event."

"This has been a major issue in trying to book top tier artists as the tax significantly lowered their potential artist fees," added Bobbie Welch, special events coordinator. "Now we can look forward to even more quality entertainment at the newly renovated Pan Am Center."

Lofdahl added that the bill only grants a reprieve from a tax to promoters.

"If NMSU purchased the show, the tax would still be in effect," he said.