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NM among most volatile in tax revenue

SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s no surprise to state lawmakers, but New Mexico is one of the most volatile states in the nation when it comes to tax revenue.

The state ranked seventh-highest in revenue volatility – Alaska ranked the highest, and South Dakota the lowest – over a recent 20-year period, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

New Mexico had previously ranked eighth, but rose in the rankings after the 2016 budget year was factored in.

Like many states with high revenue volatility, New Mexico relies heavily on oil and natural gas taxes and royalties to help pay for state government operations. With oil and gas prices plummeting in recent years, overall state revenue levels have also gone down.

The decrease has led to sweeping budget cuts, the depletion of cash reserves and the creation, during a special legislative session last month, of a rainy-day fund to help the state better weather revenue-lean years.

If the past two decades have been any indication, more of those years are sure to come.

SICK CALL: Gov. Susana Martinez is out of state this week to be with her brother while he undergoes medical treatments.

The two-term Republican governor left New Mexico on Sunday to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix with her brother, Jake Martinez Jr., according to the Governor’s Office. No additional information was provided.

Martinez, who grew up in El Paso, is one of three siblings. The governor acts as legal guardian for her sister, Lettie Martinez, who is developmentally disabled.

The governor is scheduled to return to New Mexico on Friday, a spokesman said. State taxpayers will not be footing the bill for the trip.

Per the state Constitution, Lt. Gov. John Sanchez will serve as acting governor while Martinez is traveling out of state.

Dan Boyd: dboyd@abqjournal.com

 

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