Why I want to serve as your Congresswoman

I believe our country is at a crossroads and we need to get back to the basics. We need public servants who encourage love, fairness, and equality instead of hate and divisiveness. We should celebrate our similarities and respect our differences.

The third congressional needs sustainable, good paying jobs so that we can work in the communities we love. Our government should provide affordable healthcare and education, clean water, healthy food, and a safe place for people to rest their head. Our public servants should represent and reflect who we are, what we value, and respect our culture and traditions.

We need leaders who will come to the table to discuss and work on legislation that helps the people we represent. My values are clear: helping my community and fighting for what we believe is right, even when it’s not the most popular thing to do. 

We can address these fundamental needs by fixing our tax structure and prioritizing reforming our National budget. I have worked diligently to create, write, support and research policy that has helped New Mexicans both at the state and national levels. My relationships, tools, experience, and education can best represent New Mexican families in Washington DC.

I want to continue my life‘s work as your congresswoman. I’m asking you to join my team and together we can make a difference. We must strive to make government function better for our seniors, children, veterans and working families. 

I humbly ask for your vote and support through this journey to be your first congresswoman. 

 Laura M. Montoya

“It takes a community to grow together.”

The Issues

We are facing several issues that impact the daily lives of New Mexicans. Several of them can be tackled by prioritizing the federal budget and tax reform. We need to invest in quality education and economic development and reverse climate disruption that will provide sustainable jobs.

IMMIGRATION

America was built on the backbone of immigrant families fleeing oppression and seeking opportunities to make a better life for their children. We have an aging population that has done their share and we need to honor our promise for social security, Medicaid and pension. We cannot do that without a younger generation of workers.

Federal laws should not only maintain legal immigration levels but support and provide a legal path for immigrants who wish to come to the United States and allow them to contribute their expertise and skill to our economy in order to maintain an adequate workforce, pay taxes and support our social safety net.

HEALTH CARE

Everyone should have access to healthcare that is affordable. In my time in Costa Rica, I saw a system that gave everyone health coverage and prioritized education first hand. Almost every industrialized country has both a public/private hybrid system with the public system providing a foundation of afforability and access. Here in New Mexico, 72% of babies are born on medicaid so we already know there is a need for an expanded public option. No-one should have to contemplate whether to eat, pay a utility bill or pay for their prescription drugs. Providing health care decreases overall budget costs and can free folks up to start their own businesses.

 

AGRICULTURE & WATER

Water is our most precious resource and scarce in New Mexico. We need clean running water for our families to thrive and our farmers and ranchers to produce healthy foods. We need to reverse climate disruption to prevent drought and to create sustainable jobs.
I plan to expand resources to sustain our local farmers and protect our traditional water systems such as acequias. I plan on incentivizing sustainable cities, and supporting conservation-based infrastructure in our rural areas.

 

EDUCATION

Education is the most powerful economic development tool we have and that is why Democrats always prioritize education. Pre-K and early childhood education should be fully funded. Working adults should not still be paying student debt 30 years after receiving a degree.

We need to restructure our education system and incorporate life skills including banking and investing; high-quality trade school like farming, ranching, mechanics, plumbing, construction and film; and ensure that the curriculum is relevant to New Mexico. We need leaders and curriculum that children see as a reflection of themselves and represents who they are and where they are from.

Frequently Asked Questions

What education do you have?
  • Robertson High School. Las Vegas, NM.
  • Psychology & Political Science, BA; Public Affairs, MA at Highlands University
  • Studied at the University of Costa Rica as a Rotary Scholar
  • Certified Public Official
  • Certified Treasury Official
What Boards, Committees & Organizations have you served on?
  • National Safe Routes to School
  • New Mexico Tax Policy, member
  • New Mexico Counties, board member
  • Treasurers Affiliate, Legislative Chair
  • National Association of Counties (NACo), member
  • NACo Finance, Pension & Intergovernmental Affairs, Vice Chair (4 yrs)
  • NACo NextGen young elected Officials, Chair (4 yrs) & Treasurer (1 yr)
  • National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers, & Finance Officers (NACCTFO)
  • Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), member & panelist
  • Government Investment Officers Association (GIOA), member
What accomplishments can you point to that would make you a good Congresswoman?

2013 – Current*

  • Initiated modern, sustainable and cost-saving measures for tax payers – created a “Go Green” program, expanded access with new hours, more technology-based methods of payment, and more notories.
  • Re-organized the office to reflect the immediate needs of my constituents – STO is now on the manufactured home committee and has dedicated researcher/representative
  • Started the Emergency Action Plan for the Treasurer’s Office.
  • Increased trust for the office by formalizing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Cash Handling and Deposits and achieving a clean audit for the Treasurer’s Office

INVESTMENTS

  • Increased transparency with regular reporting to several stakeholders into Sandoval County’s investments with greater liquidity and decreased market and investment risk.

LEGISLATION

  • STO assisted in the collaborative passage of several pieces of legislation that have assisted taxpayers, Assessors’ and Treasurers’ Offices state-wide.

2013

  • SB 406/Sapien -Assists with collection of more revenues for the county when a taxpayer/developer would like to divide or combine property. This bill allows for the county to collect on the property that is being divided or combined through the taxable year. This legislation has allowed us to clean up the tax roll, increase county revenues, and assist with less evasion of taxes and provide state-wide uniformity. Through this effort, millions of dollars has been collected state-wide allowing for fair and equitable collection.
  • SB 289/Shendo -Allows those low-income taxpayers over 65 years of age or disabled to have an automatic value freeze, after being eligible for three consecutive years, unless their eligibility changes. This will assist our seniors and disabled who have a difficult time getting around as well as assist our Assessor’s office in not being overloaded with unnecessary paperwork.

2015

  • HB 49/Wooley -Allows the Treasurer’s and the Assessor’s office to provide taxpayers with their tax bill and notice of value by electronic mail. This will aid us in decreasing our operating budget in future years by reducing printing, mailing, and processing costs for these notices. This will assist our military and overseas taxpayers with receiving their tax bill in a timely fashion. This moves us in the direction of electronic access to online payments.
  • HB 67/J. Trujillo – Allow for certain tax roll changes to be done without having to go to district court.
  • SB 104/Sharer – Allow County Treasurers to accept partial payment pursuant to an Installment Agreement on delinquent accounts that are with Property Tax Division.
  • SB 248/M. Sanchez – Provides an exemption from the imposition of a special benefit assessment for Disabled Veterans.
  • SB 426/Griggs- Added an amendment to exclude the Assessor’s and Treasurer’s office from any unintended consequences from a Scriveners Error Affidavit. (This bill failed in 2015 but was signed in 2016.)
  • SB 47/ C. Sanchez – Assisted in an amendment to remove unintended consequences to the “tangible property cost”.
  • SB 506/Payne – Provides the option for a Disabled Veteran’s property tax exemption to remain or be transferred to the new property if they choose.

2016

  • SB 56/Rodriguez – Clarifying that county and municipal Treasurers may invest in certain public money in brokered certificates of deposit. New Mexico was the only state that did not have this clarified in law (This bill was introduced in 2015 and API)
  • Testified against several bills regarding decreases or suspension in property valuation of real property.

2017

  • SB 67/Rodriguez – Notification of TIDD to County Treasurers; Requiring that the Treasurer of the county in which a tax increment development district is formed be notified of that formation.
  • SB 356/Rodriguez – Notification of Public Improvement District (PID); Requiring that the Treasurer of the county in which a public improvement district is formed be notified of that formation.
  • HB 184/Youngblood- Property Tax Revenue to Charter School- Assisted in the clarification of the distribution of ad valorem payments from the County Treasurer and the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • Assisted with input for property tax code legislation that was proposed.

2018

  • HB88/Fajardo & SB 109/Baca- Define and the inclusion of a “right of first offer” to permit pueblos, land grants, non-taxable entities such as counties, to have the right of first offer on land they may have previously owned before placing it through the auction process. Define “abandoned real property” to be a part of a subdivision with a minimum of 5,000 vacant lots in delinquency; part of a subdivision plotted before 1980; and the property taxes, penalties and interest have not been paid on more than ten years. Allows real value to be taxed and collected instead of an inflated tax rate due to taxes that will never be resolved. Also permits for an online auction process.
  • HB 69/Wooley- County Classification & Salaries- Eliminates classification of Class C counties which no longer exist and allows for an increase of 15% for annual maximum salaries for county elected officials pursuant to action by the county commission.

2019

  • SB 473/Rodriguez- Relating to public finance; amending Section 6-10-10 NMSA 1978 (BEING LAWS 1933, CHAPTER 175, SECTION 4, AS AMENDED); Defining Investment Policy, Supranational issuer and United States government sponsored enterprises; providing additional investment tools for the State Treasurer, Class A county Treasurer’s and municipalities of 65,000 population or more within a Class A county. (supranational, commercial paper rated A1 or P1 and money market mutual funds)
  • HB 429/Rehm – Relating to Taxation; Increasing the income limit for eligibility for a limitation on property tax valuation of a dwelling occupied by a person who is sixty-five years of age OR older OR disabled from $32,000 to $35,000 beginning tax year 2020.
  • HB 97/Salazar- An act relating to public finance; clarifying that the educational retirement board; the public employees retirement association and the state investment council may participate in the Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP)

NEW MEXICO PROPERTY TAX DIVISION (NMPTD)

  • Worked on a regulation and a statute with NMPTD and other Treasurers to be permitted to collect partial payments on delinquent accounts that have already been sent to the state.
  • The STO has provided two office stations for the NMPTD to assist with the collection of delinquent property taxes. NMPTD’s auction are held annually within the county. We have had 734 accounts that have been on the auction list with a total of $882,975 collected from 345 accounts auctioned from 2013 to current.
  • Since 2013, STO has implemented a new strategy in which the Tax Researchers work on delinquent accounts that are expected to be on the NMPTD list in July. This effort has assisted in keeping several delinquent accounts within the county. In 2013, the total amount was over $3.6 million. They collected approximately $2 million of that amount, keeping interest and penalty due within the county’s general fund.

TRAINING

  • Attended and worked with the New Mexico Association of Counties, the Treasurer’s Affiliate and the National Association of Counties (NACo).
  • Currently Vice-Chair of the Finance, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs (FPIGA) Committee with NACo and the elected Chair for NACo Next Generation.
  • Worked with New Mexico county elected officials to run for the Western Region representative for NACo.
  • Actively participated and learned from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and the Government Investment Officers Association (GIOA).
  • The Treasurer graduated with her Certified Public Official (CPO) certification from the NMSU NM Edge courses and will graduate with her Certified Treasury Official (CTO) certification in June.
  • Updated all staff positions in the Treasurer’s office with the Sandoval County Human Resources Department to include mandatory Treasurer Certification from all employees within one year.
  • Ten staff members will have graduated with their Certified Treasury Official (CTO) certification from NMSU NM Edge courses.
  • Three staff members have graduate with their Certified Public Official (CPO).
  • The former Treasury Accountant Supervisor completed one year of Star 12 training and the Accounting Specialist began Star 12 training.
  • All staff have actively participated in Risk Awareness Program (RAP) training since its implementation in 2014.
  • The Accounting Specialist, Treasury Controller, Treasury Accountant Supervisor, Deputy Treasurer and Treasurer annually participate in the Audit Rule Training put on by the State Auditor’s office.

* Source: Sandoval County Treasurer’s Office

 

What experience do you bring to the table?
  • 17+ years of government and policy work in CD-3 & for New Mexico
  • New Mexico House of Representatives & Senate, multiple capacities
  • Senator Jeff Bingaman, Constituent Services Representative in 5 Northern NM counties
  • State Treasurer’s Office
  • Children, Youth & Families
  • Human Services Department
  • Village of Corrales
  • Sandoval County Treasurer
Do you believe in a woman’s right to choose?
Yes. All people are created equal and should have equal rights. I do not believe Government/Elected Officials should interfere with personal healthcare decisions that should be between people, their families, and their doctors.
Do you support our unions?
Yes. As the daughter of a union member, I know and understand the importance Unions bring to our working families by protecting living wages, affordable healthcare and reliable benefits. I do not support the so-called “right to work for less” policies.

I have worked with NEA and AFT on legislation that helped New Mexican school counselors gain pay parity. I have supported our state firefighters and safety officers for better retirement benefits. As County Treasurer, I have earned several union endorsements.