A few Texans move to New Mexico: is this news?

Based on a recent story in the Albuquerque Journal one might be led to believe that large numbers of Texans are moving to New Mexico for reasons including lower tax burdens to weather and LBGT rights. The story smacks of a journalist attempting to find a trend where none exists.

In reality according to the Census Bureau’s 2022 data, the number of people moving to NM from Texas virtually matches the number moving the opposite way. As the story notes, NM has superior weather and is generally more pleasing in terms of its scenery. Property taxes are high in Texas, but lower overall than New Mexico.

The story DOES note, “Despite its high property taxes, Texas has been experiencing a higher population growth than New Mexico. While their population is growing at an annual rate of roughly 16%, New Mexico’s population is growing at a rate of 2.8%.” That really illustrates that the overall trend is actually people moving TO Texas, not as often to New Mexico.

While New Mexico SHOULD be favorably positioned to benefit from the trend of America’s aging population and retirement boom (bad schools and relatively limited job pools aren’t factors while good weather is) That likely won’t happen until New Mexico eliminates its Social Security tax. It is one of only a handful of states to charge such a tax and that constantly places New Mexico on lists of places that are unattractive retirement destinations. 

A more detailed analysis of New Mexico’s massive surplus and what is being done or not done with it would be much more interesting and worthwhile.

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