Tax Fairness and Budget Adequacy2022-08-08T11:24:21-06:00

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

New Mexico is Putting Families First in Tax Policy

Our state’s policy makers made a number of improvements to the tax code since 2019 that will help low- and middle-income New Mexicans, improve equity, and increase economic opportunity for our working families.

 

Orphaned Wells and Inadequate Bonds: How the Oil and Gas Industry Could Soon Become a Financial Burden

Overproduction, a global price war, and the COVID-19 pandemic have led many oil and gas companies in New Mexico and across the West to file for bankruptcy. This means orphaned wells – inactive wells that bankrupt companies have failed to plug – are left behind to pollute the state, which also has to pay the clean-up costs due to inadequate bonding requirements. At the same time, the pandemic has resulted in revenue shortfalls for our state budget. (State-level data on orphaned wells, estimated clean-up costs)

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.

Recent Publications

New Mexico is Putting Families First in Tax Policy

June 8th, 2022|

Fact Sheet Our state’s policy makers made a number of improvements to the tax code since 2019 that will help low- and middle-income New Mexicans, improve equity, and increase economic opportunity for our working families. (State-level data on how recent tax changes will benefit families)

All publications

Recent Blog Posts

Federal leasing program isn’t working for New Mexico

June 4th, 2022|

When the government leases lands at far below market rates and forces taxpayers to cover the cost of cleanup, we’re all missing out on money that is rightfully ours. This is revenue that should be used to pay for books for our schools and teacher salaries, not padding industry profits.

All blog posts

Recent News Coverage

Inflation Reduction Act does not extend federal Child Tax Credit

August 9th, 2022|

“New Mexico is ranked near the bottom for childhood poverty and childhood well-being. That benefit was really a lifeline for families. It’s really important what that money means for families. They’re better able to feed children so they go to school with a full belly. Parents are able to drop a third job, they’re better able to afford housing. They are big-picture impacts, what that money can do for a family,” she said.

New Mexico Residents To Receive Tax Rebate Of Up To $500

July 8th, 2022|

“This type of relief is really crucial right now,” says Amber Wallin, executive director of the nonpartisan advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children. She anticipates the money will be especially significant for women, families with children, and people of color who have been particularly affected by recent economic challenges, including the pandemic and the highest inflation in decades.

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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