A representative of Triad National Security LLC, which takes over management of Los Alamos National Laboratory in November, said Wednesday the consortium will pay gross receipts taxes, easing concerns of local officials about losing millions of dollars in revenue.
Scott Sudduth, assistant vice chancellor with the Office of Federal Relations for the Texas A&M University system, told an audience of about 50 community members during a meeting in Los Alamos that the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department responded to a recent inquiry from Triad by saying that “it is their view that the gross receipts tax does apply to Triad.”
Los Alamos County officials had said previously that if Triad were deemed to have nonprofit status, the county estimated it could lose $21 million annually and the state $23 million in gross receipts tax revenues, according to published reports.
Nonprofits generally are exempt from the tax on most business transactions, a major source of revenue that the state collects and shares with local governments where the transactions take place.
Triad is led by the Texas A&M system, the University of California and the Battelle Memorial Institute, all nonprofits.
“I know how important tax issues are to the community,” Sudduth told the audience.
Sudduth said Triad will begin paying the tax as of Nov. 1, and he said the letter from state revenue officials was shared with the National Nuclear Security Administration.
“We are encouraged by that,” said David Izraelevitz, who chairs the Los Alamos County Council. “The issue of gross receipts taxes has been one of intense attention by us.”
Gary Falle of the Office of the President of the University of California confirmed during a break in Wednesday’s session that Sudduth had informed him of the gross receipts tax decision, but he said he did not have a copy of the letter and was not authorized to speak with the news media.
Various Triad representatives said the Los Alamos meeting was called to hear community concerns and develop a community commitment plan.
“We want to hear what issues are important to the community,” Frances Chadwick, staff director for Triad, told the gathering at Fuller Lodge.
Triad late last year was awarded a multibillion-dollar contract by the National Nuclear Security Administration to run the nuclear weapons research facility for the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing contractor Los Alamos National Security LLC in overseeing a major economic engine for the region.