Tax Fairness and Budget Adequacy 2018-10-03T16:33:15+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

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)
 

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A Blueprint for a Prosperous State

Prosperity requires investments. You can’t grow a garden without good soil, water, and some hard work. Same with a state—you can’t have prosperity without resources, infrastructure, and a skilled workforce. But New Mexico has tried to cut its way to prosperity and it hasn’t worked. This brief offers recommendations for raising revenue so we can invest in our state and its people. (Policy brief)

Recent Publications

Improving the best anti-poverty measure in New Mexico

April 25th, 2018|

New Mexico's Working Families Tax Credit works with the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which has been hailed as one of the best anti-poverty, pro-job creation measures Congress has ever enacted. This fact sheet explains why this tax credit works so well and how New Mexico policymakers could make it even more effective. And it could all be paid for by ending an ineffective tax credit. (Fact sheet; state-level data on the Working Families Tax Credit)

A Blueprint for a Prosperous State

January 26th, 2018|

Prosperity requires investments. You can’t grow a garden without good soil, water, and some hard work. Same with a state—you can’t have prosperity without resources, infrastructure, and a skilled workforce. But New Mexico has tried to cut its way to prosperity and it hasn't worked. This brief offers several recommendations for raising revenue so lawmakers can invest in our state and its people. (Policy brief)

All publications

Recent Blog Posts

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.

Imagine not being counted

April 6th, 2018|

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.

All blog posts

Recent News Coverage

Impact of proposed SNAP cuts would be huge in New Mexico

February 22nd, 2018|

Amber Wallin, the Deputy Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, pointed to the recent tax cut that became law as a driving force for the desire to cut federal spending from social welfare programs. “We just had a $1.4 trillion tax cut that mainly goes to wealthy individuals, the most well-connected, the biggest corporations,” she said. “But at the same time we’re cutting crucial benefits for the kids and families who need them the most. It’s just unacceptable.”

Bill to tax unhealthy foods dies in committee

February 3rd, 2018|

Bill Jordan, of New Mexico Voices for Children, said the additional tax would hurt those who could least afford it. “Adding a 7 or 8 percent tax is not a solution for obesity,” he said. “New Mexico also has a problem with childhood hunger. Adding a $100 million tax a year is not a solution to hunger.”

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.