House passes sweeping tax changes, hike for top earners - Albuquerque Journal

House passes sweeping tax changes, hike for top earners

In this Feb. 12 file photo, Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, appears remotely as he addresses questions during a debate in the state House. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – The state House endorsed a broad tax package late Wednesday that would expand tax credits for low-income workers but establish higher tax brackets for top earners.

The legislation would cost New Mexico about $73 million in annual revenue by making it easier to qualify for the Low Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate and the Working Families Tax Credit, in addition to making them more generous, according to state economists.

But it would raise about $78 million by creating new, higher income tax brackets – topping out at 6.5% – and narrowing a capital gains tax deduction. The top tax rate of 6.5% would apply to income over $415,000 a year by an individual.

Rep. Javier Martínez, an Albuquerque Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, described the tax increases as modest but necessary to pay for the tax cuts. The net effect, he said, would be to deliver tax relief to families who need it.

Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, also described the measure as a step toward more equitable taxation.

“It strikes a great balance between supporting working people, lower-income people and just imposing a little bit extra on those who can afford it,” said Chandler, also a co-sponsor of the bill.

Republican legislators, in turn, said it isn’t the right time to raise taxes. State revenue is already healthy without tax hikes, opponents said, and families reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t be hit with increased taxes, no matter their income.

“Our families are hurting,” Rep. Larry Scott, R-Hobbs, said. “We really need to think twice about increasing taxes.”

Opponents also say the new tax brackets would hit doctors and small businesses at the same time New Mexico is trying to recruit physicians and boost the economy.

“I’m worried we’re not being as data-driven as we could be,” said Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho.

The proposal, House Bill 291, will head next to the Senate in the final weeks of the session. Democrats hold majorities in both chambers, though they sometimes disagree on tax and spending priorities.

The legislation won House approval 42-27 after a three-hour debate.

Two Democrats – Reps. Willie Madrid of Chaparral and Candie Sweetser of Deming – crossed party lines and voted against the bill. All Republicans and one independent also opposed it.

In addition to changes to income taxes, the proposal would allow the assessments used in property tax calculations to climb up to 10% a year – rather than the usual 3% limit – for homes that aren’t the owner’s principal residence, beginning in 2024.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » House passes sweeping tax changes, hike for top earners


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
New grocery store approved near Rust Medical Center
ABQnews Seeker
The Rio Rancho Governing Board at ... The Rio Rancho Governing Board at its June 23 meeting approved site plans for Albertsons Market Street @ The Village near the new Presbyterian ...
2
Top New Mexico elections regulator says she was threatened
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's top elections regulator says ... New Mexico's top elections regulator says she received threats to her safety via an email and telephone calls to her offices and that the ...
3
APD detectives investigating after 2 found dead overnight
ABQnews Seeker
Two people were killed and a ... Two people were killed and a third person was injured early Wednesday morning in what police initially called a single-vehicle crash but later said ...
4
Rockets away in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Teams from around the globe gather ... Teams from around the globe gather to compete in the Spaceport America Cup
5
One of ABQ’s newest speed cameras stolen off its ...
ABQnews Seeker
Just over two weeks after the ... Just over two weeks after the city's mobile speed enforcement device on Lead at Cornell started issuing tickets, vandals removed the camera box
6
SFNF firewood permits available
ABQnews Seeker
The permits, which expire Dec. 31, ... The permits, which expire Dec. 31, apply to the entire forest, except designated wilderness areas
7
Man fatally shot on East Central
ABQnews Seeker
A man was shot to death ... A man was shot to death Tuesday night in Southeast Albuquerque. The incident marked the fifth homicide in the city in the past six ...
8
Four charged in 2020 ABQ homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Suspects arrested on a variety of ... Suspects arrested on a variety of charges, including murder and arson
9
Teen charged in shooting threat at Edgewood school
ABQnews Seeker
A 17-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot ... A 17-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot up a school earlier this month in Edgewood. State Police spokeswoman Candace Hopkins said Emma Haviland, of Edgewood, ...