Tax Fairness and Budget Adequacy 2018-10-23T13:41:09+00:00

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

Investing in a Healthier New Mexico: The Economic and Fiscal Benefits of the Medicaid Expansion in New Mexico

The Medicaid expansion, as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been very good for New Mexico. Not only are tens of thousands of New Mexicans able to access health care, the program has brought billions into the state that has created thousands of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue. (Report)

Roadmap to a Stronger New Mexico

New Mexico’s unique cultural diversity, great natural beauty, and strong sense of community make it an enchanting and resilient state, but there’s more work to be done to achieve our full potential. Tax cuts for the well-connected have bled New Mexico of crucial funding for public programs in education, health care, and other services for children. Now we’re 50th in the nation for child well-being. It’s time to make New Mexico’s children and families the highest priority, grow good-paying jobs by investing in our people, and more. Check out our Roadmap to a Stronger New Mexico here.

Imagine not being counted

The recent decision to include a question on citizenship status in the 2020 decennial Census is certain to increase the number of people who won’t respond to the census. And that’s exactly the political motivation behind the decision to include a question that hasn’t been asked since 1950. This change will be particularly bad for New Mexico. (Blog post)

Recent Publications

New Mexico Should NOT Tax Food

December 13th, 2018|

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)

A tax rebate that’s long-overdue for an expansion

December 3rd, 2018|

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.

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Recent Blog Posts

The next governor should improve our tax system and increase wages

November 3rd, 2018|

First, we recommend that the new governor work to make our tax system fairer and more stable. Thanks to 15 years of failed trickle-down tax cuts, New Mexico is now much too dependent on revenue from oil and natural gas extraction to fund our state services like education and public safety. But the amount of revenue we collect from oil production is based on prices that are set at the global level, so we’re stuck in a boom-or-bust cycle.

Celebrate Democracy: It’s Tax Day!

April 17th, 2018|

Call me crazy but I really enjoy Tax Day because I am truly proud to pay taxes. If voting during Election Day is a self-expression of our values, then filing our tax returns on Tax Day is the method through which we celebrate those values. Taxes provide the resources to make shared investments in the things we all care about like a cleaner environment, public health, and quality schools.

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Recent News Coverage

The next governor should improve our tax system and increase wages

November 3rd, 2018|

First, we recommend that the new governor work to make our tax system fairer and more stable. Thanks to 15 years of failed trickle-down tax cuts, New Mexico is now much too dependent on revenue from oil and natural gas extraction to fund our state services like education and public safety. But the amount of revenue we collect from oil production is based on prices that are set at the global level, so we’re stuck in a boom-or-bust cycle.

Report: NM Tax Overhaul Would Benefit Kids, Families

October 17th, 2018|

James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, said state policymakers could address the inequity by embracing a more progressive tax system. "It's really a much fairer way of allocating tax responsibility to support the kinds of things that we need - good, strong schools and higher education, great infrastructure," he said. "Those are really the fundamental things that we need to figure out how to pay for in a fair way."

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.