In 2004 the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute established and presented an award that recognized service and achievement in the area of tax policy. In deciding on the name for such an award, there was an obvious choice. We are grateful to the family of Franklin Jones for allowing us to name this award in his honor and to the law firm of Sutin, Thayer and Browne for their support.
The Franklin Jones Tax Policy Achievement Award is given by the New Mexico Tax Research Institute to a New Mexico citizen in recognition of service which contributes to enhanced understanding of tax policy in New Mexico. The hallmark of an award recipient is the principled analysis or advocacy of tax issues, using well-known principals of taxation, while maintaining or improving a tax structure that will serve the long range interests of New Mexicans.
Franklin Jones was born January 31, 1919 in Cheyenne, Wyoming and moved with his family to Springer, New Mexico in 1928. He died November 1, 1994. He was a gifted lawyer and an esteemed counselor to many leaders in politics and business as well as being a remarkable example of leadership. His legacy in the area of New Mexico tax policy is unequalled. He reformed New Mexico’s tax code, creating the structure still in use, and he transformed tax administration, bringing professionalism to a tax commission plagued by political patronage.
The accomplishments of Franklin Jones are nothing short of extraordinary. He commanded the respect of legislators, even those who disagreed with him, through his honesty and expertise. He crafted a broad revision of state taxes and skillfully navigated the political barriers common to such an enterprise. Even today, his name is invoked whenever there is a need to call to mind an example of civic duty, vigorously and gracefully performed.
Franklin Jones received his BA from the University of New Mexico in Economics in 1940. He received is Law Degree from the University of New Mexico, graduating at the top of his class in 1956. He was a founding partner of the firm now known as Sutin, Thayer and Browne. His public tax career started with his appointment by Gov. Jack Campbell to the Governor’s tax study committee. He was appointed by Governor David Cargo to serve as Commissioner of Revenue for New Mexico from 1969 through 1971 and was the chief legislative specialist to Gov. Bruce King from 1972 through 1974. He was a recipient of the State Bar Association’s public service award and the University of New Mexico’s School of Law and Alumni Association distinguished service award.
The New Mexico Tax Research Institute is proud to present this award annually to a deserving recipient in honor of Franklin Jones.
2004 - Mr. Jerry Sandel
2005 - Dr. Gerald Boyle (posthumously)
2006 - C. E. "Woody" Woodcock
2007 - Robert J. "Desi" Desiderio
2008 - Curtis W. Schwartz
2009 - Fred O'Cheskey
2010 - Joel Carson
2011 - James P. O'Neill