By Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM
Oct. 15, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new analysis shows 70% of New Mexico families with children will get a break on their state personal income taxes when they file their 2019 tax returns.

Bill Jordan, government relations officer with New Mexico Voices for Children, said currently those with the largest incomes in the state pay the smallest share of their incomes in state and local taxes, while those with the lowest incomes pay the highest share. He said 385,000 children will benefit when the revamped tax code returns $64 million to working families.

“By giving a little more to families at the bottom and asking those who can afford to pay a little more to pay slightly higher taxes, it helps to balance out our tax system,” Jordan said.

The analysis of the tax-code change was prepared by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The change means about 3%-5% of state tax filers could see an increase in their personal income taxes, but it will be paid mostly by the wealthiest New Mexicans.

The increased tax on top earners only will occur if state revenues from oil and gas production taper off.

Despite a fairly strong national economy, New Mexico was one of 10 states with an increase in the share of children living in areas of concentrated poverty, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Jordan believes the overhauled tax system will allow more stable and consistent investments in areas such as education that will help build a stronger New Mexico.

“New Mexico often has the highest or near-highest rate of child poverty in the nation,” he said. “And by giving families with kids a few dollars more, that’s certainly going to help.”

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