Economic Security and Prosperity2020-12-17T12:28:15-07:00

Economic Security and Prosperity

The economy should work for everyone, not just a select few. But for New Mexicans who lack job skills and education, and work in low-wage jobs with little hope for advancement, economic security is just a dream. Long-term economic prosperity involves promoting economic and workforce development opportunities for all New Mexicans, as well as supporting access to adequate wage and work supports for those in crisis and those who are unable to work.

Featured Content

Tax Policy: A Powerful Tool to Advance Racial Equity in New Mexico

Systemic racism isn’t accidental – it’s the result of public policies that benefit one group while disadvantaging others. Our state and national tax systems have been built to benefit those at the top (who are mostly white) while disadvantaging people of color. This report looks at concrete ways New Mexico can make our tax system more equitable.

 

The Working Families Tax Credit Will Help New Mexico Bounce Back

Tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families are a common-sense way to spur economic activity by putting money into the hands of consumers who will spend it. But New Mexico needs to do more than increase its Working Families Tax Credit – it needs to end exclusions that keep too many families from receiving it.

Essential But Excluded

Despite the fact that immigrants work, pay taxes, and are a vital part of our economy, many were left out of the relief packages Congress passed to help blunt the pandemic-caused recession and assist displaced workers and small business owners. Not only is that harmful to many New Mexico children and families, it also will impede our ability to rebuild our economy. This report looks at ways the state an address the problem.

Recent Publications

How the American Rescue Plan Will Help New Mexico

March 25th, 2021|

Fact Sheet The American Rescue Plan Act will help New Mexico in a number of ways - income supports, housing and food assistance for families, and education and health care assistance for the state, cities, counties, and Tribes. This fact sheet looks specifically at how children of color - who have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic - will be helped. (State-level estimates, some by race and ethnicity, on how many people will be impacted)

All Publications

Recent Blog Posts

The HB 291 tax package will make our tax system more racially equitable

March 15th, 2021|

Like other public policy, tax policy can either advance or hinder racial and ethnic equity. It is never race-neutral. As the legislative session enters its final week, one important tax bill - HB 291 - is still being debated. There are numerous reasons to support (it raises revenue and makes our tax system more stable, among others), but one reason has particular meaning in a state where people of color comprise the majority of the population. This blog explains.

Investments necessary for a fair, rapid economic recovery

March 13th, 2021|

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, New Mexico was beginning to move forward on a path to more broadly shared prosperity. The pandemic and recession seem to have put some of that progress on hold. But they don’t have to. We can continue to move in the right direction if we ensure we have adequate and sustainable revenue that is raised in a way that is fair.

All Blog Posts

Recent News Coverage

Residents must file tax returns by Monday to get latest stimulus

May 14th, 2021|

“We know that the pandemic has been particularly hard on undocumented or mixed-status families,” Jimenez said. “… Just having a little bit of money to help pay the current bill, but maybe even get themselves out of debt a little bit, I think, is one of the most positive things that we are hoping will happen.”

Census: New Mexico among slowest growing Western states

April 26th, 2021|

James Jimenez, the executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, pointed to what he called a lost decade — from 2008 through 2018 — when the recession took its toll on the state. He said that resulted in little economic opportunity and state policymakers at the time took an austere approach to public spending.

All news coverage

Current Initiatives

Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) is a national initiative focused on strengthening state workforce development policies as a way of reducing poverty for working families. One way to address poverty among working Americans is with so-called ‘work supports,’ which help stabilize low-wage workers while assisting their climb up the job ladder. Work supports include child care assistance, health care coverage, funding for adult basic education and community college attendance, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Fiscal Policy Project, our program focusing on tax and budget policy, also covers work supports and wage issues.

Resources

A Basic Family Budget Calculator is an important tool in determining if a family lives in poverty, because the system currently in place to do that is completely outdated.

Federal poverty guidelines, which dictate whether a family is eligible to receive assistance such as Medicaid and Food Stamps, are tied to a formula that was created in the 1960s. It was based on what the typical family spent on groceries because that was a family’s biggest expense at the time. Today, necessities like housing, childcare and health care take up a far greater share of most family incomes than groceries. Not only do the guidelines not take these changes into account, they do not take into account regional differences in the cost of living.

Because the federal guidelines are so inaccurate, families are generally considered low-income when they earn up to twice (or 200 percent) the poverty level. This makes up for some shortfalls in the guidelines, but they are still nowhere near as accurate as a Basic Family Budget.

  • Click here to find out the minimum amount families need to earn in order to live at a basic, no-frills level in New Mexico’s cities and counties
Go to Top