Fact Sheet Thanks to large budget cuts over the past decade, college tuition in New Mexico has risen sharply. At the same time, the state's main source of financial aid -- the Lottery Scholarship -- has failed to keep up with rising costs and now covers less than half of average tuition costs. This fact sheet covers the top points from the companion report, Improving College Affordability. (A Working Poor Families publication)
Report States that graduate more college students and ensure that their workers have the skills needed for 21st century jobs have stronger and more competitive economies, higher wages, lower unemployment rates, and lower poverty rates. But New Mexico has not been focused on improving access to post-secondary credentials for lower-income students and older adults that would help lead to a more broadly shared prosperity. Rather, the state is ignoring long-term economic demands, choosing, instead, to continue to be a low-wage state with the highest long-term unemployment rate, have the highest poverty rate among the employed, and have the second worst student loan default rate in the nation. (A Working Poor Families report; state-level data on state-funded financial aid and some characteristics of college students)
Report The San Juan Generating Station in Waterflow, New Mexico, is slated for closure in 2022. Closure of both the mine and plant will eliminate approximately 450 jobs and result in the loss of tax revenue for San Juan County, San Juan Community College, and the local school district. This analysis shows that the complex is a good candidate for redevelopment as a solar photovoltaic plant, saving jobs and tax revenue.
Fact sheet New Mexico’s tax system is upside down—most New Mexico families pay more than twice the rate in state and local taxes than the wealthiest pay. A new state-level Child Tax Credit would help hard-working families and make our tax system more fair. (State-level data on how this tax credit would benefit families)
Fact sheet The Low Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate (LICTR) was enacted to make our tax system fairer but because it hasn’t been updated in 20 years, it no longer does the job. LICTR was last amended in 1998. Over the last two decades, the rebate has lost much of its value, because a dollar is worth much less today that it was back in 1998. Over the same time period, our tax system has only gotten more regressive – falling even harder on those with the lowest incomes.
This updated fact sheet for The Cliff Effect: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back sums up the report's basic message about how the sudden loss of benefits like child care assistance--called the cliff effect--can act as a disincentive for hard-working families trying to lift themselves out of poverty. Also includes policy recommendations for mitigating the cliff effect. (State-level data on the child care assistance program)
Report After ten years of austerity, New Mexico has fallen to last in the nation in child well-being. The state also lost a lawsuit claiming that it is not meeting its constitutional obligation when it comes to public education. It's time to change course. This annual publication reports the latest data on child well-being in New Mexico to help us choose the path forward. (An annual KIDS COUNT report; state-, county-, tribal-, and school district-level data on indicators of child well-being; data by race and ethnicity where available)
Infographic/fact sheet Some legislators have introduced bills that would put the state's sales tax (the gross receipts tax, or GRT) on food purchased at the grocery store. This is a bad idea -- even if it's done as part of an effort to lower the overall GRT rate. With New Mexico's high rates of food insecurity and poverty, a tax on food will hurt even those families who receive SNAP, because these benefits are not intended to meet a family's entire food need. (State-level data on food insecurity, SNAP usage, trade-offs families must make, and an opinion poll on the issue) Food Tax, 2018
Updated Report How can a $1 raise in pay throw families into poverty? When they are at the ceiling for child care assistance eligibility, a tiny raise can mean they go from paying 18 percent of their income on child care to 38 percent. Work supports like child care assistance should help families achieve economic stability. But the sudden loss of benefits--called the cliff effect--can have the opposite effect. (State-level data on the child care assistance program)
Fact sheet A big tax break enacted in 2003 overwhelming goes to the highest-income earners – the people who are already paying the smallest share of their income in state and local taxes. It costs the state tens of millions of dollars a year and means that unearned income is taxed at a lower rate than money earned from wages. (State-level data on income levels, etc., of those that receive this tax deduction)