Fair Taxes

  • New Mexico’s tax system needs reform, but we need to separate the issue of reform from the issue of how much revenue/spending is appropriate. A number of tax reforms would help the state’s economy. Because Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) applies to more than just retail sales, it adds costs that can hurt local businesses' competitiveness. Eliminating this tax “pyramiding” would reduce tax revenues collected, so we need to carefully calculate what this would cost, and find ways to replace that revenue as needed. GRT should be paid by out-of-state businesses selling in this state, which would let local businesses compete on a more level playing field. Any GRT reform will affect local government funding, so counties and cities need to be at the table when reforms are discussed.
  • We should re-evaluate New Mexico’s income tax rate, which is not progressive: it is 4.9% on a person’s taxable income above $16,000 per year. New Mexico also allows deduction of 50% of capital gains from taxable income, which predominantly benefits the wealthy, with questionable benefits to any public interest. Counties presently can offer a $350 property tax rebate to local homeowners whose income is less than $24,000/year, when they file their state income tax return (Los Alamos does this). I support amending this law so that counties can vary the amount of this property tax rebate as local incomes and property values require.
  • I have not voted for any tax increases as a County Councilor, because I felt that we could provide good services with the revenues we have. I have taken positions in favor of public school property tax bond elections. I support, and I believe most people can accept, tax increases that are specifically tied to clear public needs. For instance, the gasoline tax to pay for maintaining our roads has not been increased in many years, so inflation has considerably reduced our ability to maintain roads. An increase of ten or fifteen cents per gallon would still allow gasoline to be sold at a price much lower than ten years ago, when oil was over $100 a barrel.