Tax Fairness and Budget Adequacy2020-12-17T11:47:25-07:00

Tax Fairness and Budget Adequacy

The institution of government is the means by which we do things collectively that we could not do as individuals. One of the main functions of government—written into the Constitution—is to promote the general welfare by collecting revenue that is spent on public structures like schools, roads and bridges, and services like public safety, public health, and much more. How we collect and spend public money says a great deal about our moral objectives. Our tax and budget policies should be fair, responsible, and transparent, address income inequality, and generate sufficient revenues to support programs and services that improve our quality of life. Children and families should be a high priority in federal, state, and local budgets.

Featured Content

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

While we all contribute to the revenue the state uses to provide education, health care, public safety, and more, some pay a higher price than do others. Sadly, this inequity tends to fall on racial lines. Our state and national tax systems 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.

 

Your Go-To Guides on How the State Collects and Spends Money

Our state’s tax system and budget are a reflection of what we value most and an illustration of the kind of communities we wish to create. Who pays taxes and how much, and how we spend and allocate that funding – basically, how we make our values a reality – are decided by the lawmakers we elect to represent us in Santa Fe. They create the annual budget that the state uses to provide services that benefit us collectively, like education and health care.

  • Link the to the tax guide here.
  • Link to the budget guide here.

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.

Recent Publications

It’s Time to Repeal This Unfair Tax Giveaway

January 14th, 2021|

Fact sheet New Mexico gives a big, unnecessary tax break to those with capital gains income. This tax break allows people to deduct 40 percent of their capital gains income from their state taxes, meaning this unearned income is taxed at a lower rate than the hard-earned wages and tips of ordinary New Mexicans. (State-level data on share of capital gains income by income level)

Fueling an Equitable Recovery

December 15th, 2020|

Policy Brief Before COVID-19 hit, New Mexico was moving steadily forward on a path to more broadly shared prosperity. But our over-reliance on revenue from oil and gas extraction put a dent in our economy even before the pandemic and resulting recession. Legislators must enact policies that stabilize our revenue streams while improving racial equity via our tax code. Their best options for doing so are listed in this policy brief.

All publications

Recent Blog Posts

New Mexico can be all it can be with diversified tax system

December 23rd, 2020|

Tuesday’s meeting of the Revenue Stabilization & Tax Policy Committee included a sobering reminder of the urgent need to find more stable revenue, but it also provided cause for hope – by reforming an unstable, inequitable tax structure, New Mexico can better serve the state’s children and future.

It’s time NM diversified away from oil, gas

November 16th, 2020|

Pre-pandemic New Mexico saw a boom in oil and gas extraction, which was mirrored by an increase in state revenue. And while many state leaders opined that this boom was going to last indefinitely, the reality for the industry was far more grim. “In short,” the report states, “while New Mexico posted record oil and gas revenues, the oil and gas industry itself was reporting steep losses.”

All blog posts

Recent News Coverage

New Mexican Economists Warn: Change Course Now

January 6th, 2021|

“All the tax breaks in the world for business aren’t going to make a difference if people don’t have money to spend,” he says. They get more money to spend by working at better jobs. And they get better jobs through better education, and through businesses attracted to a state with better infrastructure.”

New Mexico can be all it can be with diversified tax system

December 23rd, 2020|

Tuesday’s meeting of the Revenue Stabilization & Tax Policy Committee included a sobering reminder of the urgent need to find more stable revenue, but it also provided cause for hope – by reforming an unstable, inequitable tax structure, New Mexico can better serve the state’s children and future.

All news coverage

Current Initiatives

Fiscal Policy Project provides timely and credible analysis of budget, tax and related issues in New Mexico so we may educate lawmakers and advocate for an equitable tax system and responsible spending.

New Mexico Fairness Project is an alliance of nearly 40 small businesses and faith-based, advocacy and labor organizations calling for a balanced approach to the state’s taxation and budget policies.

State Priorities Partnership (SPP) & Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) are two national initiatives in which we take part. SPP is a program of the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities (CBPP) and includes 31 state-level groups nationwide. EARN is a program of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and includes 55 groups from across the nation.

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.

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