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Support for Social Security tax bills

SANTA FE — New Mexico Senate and House Republicans are asking Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to throw her support behind legislative proposals to fully or partially exempt Social Security benefits from taxation.

In letters sent this week, all 40 GOP lawmakers — 24 in the House and 16 in the Senate — expressed support for the bills and said they stand “ready to help” the governor move the proposals forward.

At least six bills dealing with taxing Social Security benefits have been introduced during the 30-day legislative session that ends this week.

But several of those measures have not yet been debated. And two of the bills that did clear their first assigned committee were subsequently tabled by the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

New Mexico is one of 13 states that allows income tax to be levied on Social Security benefits, though low-income seniors can exempt up to $25,000 in annual income if they claim all available tax deductions, according to the state taxation department.

At least one top-ranking lawmaker, House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, has said he supports fully or partially exempting Social Security benefits from taxation, but that approval of a bill to accomplish that might have to wait until next year’s 60-day session.

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