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

Exempting Social Security Income from Taxation: Not Targeted, Not Cheap, Not Necessary

February 17th, 2021|

Fact Sheet Several proposals to exempt Social Security income from the state income tax are being considered, but none of them would be beneficial to New Mexico. This fact sheet explains why these bills: would not benefit those New Mexicans who need relief the most; are extremely costly; and are solutions in search of a problem. (State-level data on income tax payments on Social Security benefits)

Strengthening All Communities for a Brighter Future

February 11th, 2021|

Report Immigrants strengthen our communities in many ways - from boosting the economy and the labor force to paying millions in state and local taxes. Still, immigrants are not treated with the equity they deserve. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that more clear than ever. This report looks at the ways in which immigrants contribute, how they were excluded from federal pandemic relief, and what can be done to create a more inclusive state. (State-level data on population demographics and economic and tax contributions)

All Publications

Recent Blog Posts

Your Social Security benefits are mostly un-taxed income

February 19th, 2021|

While we think of Social Security as “our” money, the fact is, most seniors receive much more in Social Security benefits than they actually paid in while working. The majority of the money in your Social Security check comes from other sources.

How combining a just economic transition and strong climate action equals a safer, healthier and more equitable New Mexico

February 10th, 2021|

New Mexicans are already experiencing severe impacts of climate change – harming our health, air, land, water, and economy. The Climate Solutions Act (HB 9) would establish nation-leading carbon pollution reduction targets to benefit current and future generations while ensuring that all New Mexicans will benefit from the jobs and economic growth provided in a clean energy future.

All Blog Posts

Recent News Coverage

Your Social Security benefits are mostly un-taxed income

February 19th, 2021|

While we think of Social Security as “our” money, the fact is, most seniors receive much more in Social Security benefits than they actually paid in while working. The majority of the money in your Social Security check comes from other sources.

Halfway home: Lawmakers hit crucial stretch

February 18th, 2021|

But James Jimenez, the executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonprofit group that advocates for health care access and economic security, said he’s optimistic about the session’s final outcome. He also said changes to New Mexico’s tax code could bolster the state’s economic diversification efforts, adding that concerns raised by business groups are not new.

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.


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
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