This legislative session, our state has a real chance at lifting up an entire generation of children from a lifetime of poverty. An education moonshot is within reach. But our major revenue source — oil and natural gas – tends to rise and fall dramatically and cannot be our state’s sole source of revenue at a time when we need to dig deep to invest in our children. It’s time we create sustainable revenue sources for our families and communities so we can work toward smart solutions for our state.
Our state can no longer be solely dependent on the success of one industry or one tax. We must diversify our economy so our future is secure and sustainable. Hard-working New Mexicans deserve an economy that works for them, not against them. In New Mexico, we value our local communities, and we know that in order to lift them up, we must level the playing field so that everyone is paying their fair share.
Our middle-class and working-class communities have had to bear the burden of a tax system that’s benefitted large out-of-state corporations and the well-connected for far too long. This year, House Democrats propose to uplift New Mexico’s families though meaningful economic reform. We must establish revenue streams to support our severely starved government services like public education, public safety, roads and infrastructure. Our proposal will address these needs and provide stable revenues for the inevitable moment in the future when oil and gas revenues fluctuate.
This week, House Democrats will be releasing House Bill 6, our economic reform package. It will create a revenue stream which builds a foundation of sustainable and fair policy that will lead to long-term education investments, job creation, economic growth and proper funding to fix our roads, lessen crime, and seek to improve health care for all New Mexicans.
Perhaps most importantly, our proposal will create a sustainable revenue stream needed to begin to address the recent court finding which found that New Mexico has not been providing children with an adequate public education. Our communities are ready for real, sustained investments in the classroom, and our proposal will be part of that investment. If our students have every opportunity to succeed from early childhood to higher education, we will create an environment that encourages them to stay in New Mexico and to continue working to make our state even stronger.
The proposal will address some of the inequities for families caused by the Trump administration’s 2017 federal tax legislation. Other changes include a modest increase in the motor vehicle excise tax, which hasn’t increased in over 30 years, in order to rebuild our state and local roads. We will also be making changes to the state personal income tax to create a new tax bracket for those at the very top. These changes will lift up our families and position us to achieve our education moonshot — so our children and families can thrive for years to come.
Working together, we can make our tax system fairer for New Mexico families and create a sustainable revenue source to fund a world-class education for our children. This is our year to take the first step. We’re ready to stand with New Mexicans in creating a better future for us all, for generations.
To follow the progress on House Bill 6, please visit www.nmlegis.gov.