El Paso Times Editorial Board: Santa Teresa growth good for El paso

This is from the El Paso Times Editorial Board published 7/24/13

Two El Paso companies are moving to Santa Teresa. It’s not all bad news, but in some respects it is a tax-incentive thing.

Santa Teresa is El Paso, except for that line on the map designating it as being in a different state than Texas. It touches El Paso, and the growing industrial area in Southern New Mexico employs many El Pasoans.

The biggest boon to Santa Teresa has been the $400 million Union Pacific rail facility, now under construction. And there’s the Santa Teresa International Port of Entry.

Tax incentives? In 2011 New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that exempts the railroad from paying locomotive fuel taxes. In turn, Union Pacific is constructing one of the world’s largest rail yards; it is also the largest intermodal rail yard on our border with Mexico. That’s making Santa Teresa an ideal location for other industries that can benefit by being near railroad tracks.

In the latest growth spurt, Martinez announced Twin Cities Services was leaving El Paso for a 32-acre industrial site in Verde Logistics Park. And W. Silver Recycling is simply adding another plant. “We’re not moving out there, it’s just an expansion,” said the company’s president, Lane Gaddy. Twin Cities Services is a shipping container storage company and expects to have 30 employees on the books in the next two or three years. About 20 new jobs will be created when W. Silver Recycling opens its new facility on 5.5 acres on the same site.

While Union Pacific has been given a fuel-tax break, other companies are moving into New Mexico because its legislature recently lowered corporate taxes on manufacturers’ exports. And where better to export than on the border with Mexico.

Martinez, who grew up in El Paso, apparently couldn’t let her big announcements pass without taking a jab at Texas Gov. Rick Perry. She said she’d see Perry (today) at a Republican Governors Association meeting in Colorado, “And I will let him know that you (two El Paso companies) are in New Mexico instead of Texas.”

But we continue our long-standing belief that a growing Southern New Mexico is good for El Paso. It’s El Paso that provides virtually all shopping for Southern New Mexico, from Santa Teresa to the Anthony area. Groceries come from El Paso supermarkets; the malls and other places of business are here.

But we do have to give New Mexico a lot of credit for being not only on the move, but innovative. As one example, Santa Teresa has a special zone for overweight trucks from Mexico.

A growing Santa Teresa as a port and a large rail facility is to be considered a plus for this area and the newly formed Borderplex Alliance, a group promoting El Paso, Southern New Mexico and Juárez.