This Labor Day, we're celebrating the expansion of the Working Families Tax Credit during the 2019 legislative session. The 70% increase in the credit will benefit more than 200,000 New Mexico families.
The first installment in our series on policies passed during the 2019 legislative session that will improve equity in New Mexico, this blog looks at how tax policies can help close income and wealth disparities that fall along racial lines. Makes sense -- since tax policies helped create those disparities in the first place.
When you filed your tax return this year, you may have noticed some changes. Maybe you got a smaller refund than usual or you owed more in state taxes. So what happened to the big fairness measures that the state Legislature just passed?
This tax cut was sold to New Mexicans as the next great job-creator. But, like most trickle-down economic strategies, it failed on a massive scale. It's past time to repeal this ineffective give-away that mostly benefits those at the very top.
Now is the time to enact bold tax reform and improve our tax system so we can begin to generate key, sustainable resources that are not ruled by the boom-or-bust cycle of the oil and gas industries. This reform should begin by restoring fairness to the personal income tax, a stable source of revenue that is underutilized in New Mexico due to tax cuts enacted in 2003.
The past decade of austerity has been hard on New Mexico’s children. Still, we are optimistic about the future because we believe in the strength and resiliency of New Mexico’s families. We know we can build stronger communities and support more resilient families and children so that they can thrive. But we can only build a stronger New Mexico if our policymakers are willing to provide the revenue we need to make these investments.
You can count us among those who are grateful for the billion dollar surplus. This has been a rough few years for kids and families. You can also count us among those who are nervous about how long it will last.
Here in New Mexico, we’ve given away more and more of our tax revenue over time in the form of corporate handouts and allowed multi-state corporations to play shell games with the profits they earn here. The result? Our state has less money to invest in the things that corporations really care about – modern and robust infrastructure, a well-trained workforce, and a market for their goods.
First, we recommend that the new governor work to make our tax system fairer and more stable. Thanks to 15 years of failed trickle-down tax cuts, New Mexico is now much too dependent on revenue from oil and natural gas extraction to fund our state services like education and public safety. But the amount of revenue we collect from oil production is based on prices that are set at the global level, so we’re stuck in a boom-or-bust cycle.
Call me crazy but I really enjoy Tax Day because I am truly proud to pay taxes. If voting during Election Day is a self-expression of our values, then filing our tax returns on Tax Day is the method through which we celebrate those values. Taxes provide the resources to make shared investments in the things we all care about like a cleaner environment, public health, and quality schools.