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Don’t run our retirees across state lines

I moved to Albuquerque from Texas. Almost as soon as I arrived I discovered something I had not known before deciding to move here. New Mexico taxes Social Security income. Wow, how did I miss that little factoid?

As a planner, I thought I had researched pretty well and determined I could afford to live in Albuquerque off my Social Security income. My monthly bills are paid completely by my Social Security income for 2019, but that could change in 2020 unless the Legislature rights this wrong.

One of the first things I did upon arriving was to subscribe to the newspaper. I had already decided that I could not easily afford cable TV because it was twice as expensive here as it had been in Texas. I had researched and opted to pay for internet only. I read a letter in the paper from a lady who had lived here for over 20 years. She was quite sad that due to the tax on her Social Security income, she was forced to move to survive in retirement. It was a heartbreaking letter.

I’ve kept up with the letters and the discussions going on in the N.M. Legislature, and although I am all for legalizing recreational and medical use marijuana, I am more concerned with the fact that at present, N.M. taxes Social Security income, which affects me in 2020, unless it is changed drastically now. My understanding is several bills (propose) to either completely eliminate the tax or drastically reduce it. I vote for elimination. I want to stay here. I like it here, so please don’t chase me out, too.

(I was) a former banker of 22 years and then a Better Business Bureau CEO for eight years. I chose to retire … at the ripe age of 67. I’ve been in Albuquerque for three months, and I already know that I like it here. I don’t want to leave, and I understand why the lady whose letter I read my first few weeks here left and why she was sad to do that. From reading some of the arguments and proposals, I agree with the concept that eliminating the tax would be a burden for the state, at least short term, but you don’t know for sure. I believe that New Mexico would definitely attract more retirees and seniors if that dreaded double-jeopardy tax were eliminated.

That would be a good thing and could at least partially offset taxes lost with new people paying taxes along with everyone else through the goods and services normally purchased month to month. They would contribute to the local economy because they would have more disposable income. Eventually, the pluses would offset the minuses, and this wrong will have been righted. I find it difficult to understand why anyone in their right mind would sneak something so onerous into a bill that has been hurting seniors and retirees since 1990. It’s difficult enough living on a budget for groceries and the other normal expenses, but to end up at year end with taxes due on your Social Security income (that) you already pay federal taxes on should be criminal. I implore the Legislature to reverse this outlandish tax and start to beef up the population of this fine state.

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