A Possible “Revenue Enhancer” to Consider?

It is no secret that the Rail Runner has sucked massive amounts of taxpayer money away from New Mexico’s roads and highways. But, the point remains that — regardless of whether we ride the Rail Runner or not — we do all benefit from New Mexico’s road system.

So, as policymakers face a massive budget deficit in the special session, it would seem that Ruben Baca of the New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association has a point in arguing that “potential tax revenue could be generated through taxation of gasoline purchased on Native American lands.” While I have certainly purchased my share of gas on tribal lands between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, much of the uncollected tax revenues seem to go to tribal authorities, not consumers who purchase gas. Since gas taxes are one of the only taxes that resembles anything like a “user-fee” in New Mexico, closing this tax loophole would be a logical source of revenue.

Of course, this is not to say that we support higher taxes. But at this point, it seems like legislators are hell-bent on raising taxes during the special session. At this point it is just a matter of plucking the goose with the least amount of hissing.

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6 Replies to “A Possible “Revenue Enhancer” to Consider?”

  1. Wow — do you not understand the tribal sovereignty issue and that we cannot demand that tribes raise their taxes?

    Even bringing this up without mentioning the word “sovereignty” makes one wonder how much Mr. Gessing knows about the status of the pueblos in New Mexico.

    The fact that Gessing and his Rio Grande Foundation have never shown how cuts alone could fix the economy (Gessing instead chooses to choose small money solutions that embarrass Democrats) shows that revenue-enhancers may be necessary. Even if it makes the richest people in the state, who Gessing protects as if they were his own children, pay their fair share.

  2. Hey, I didn’t come up with the tax idea. It was just an article that seems like one interesting approach to solving a part of the budget problem. I am definitely not an expert on tribal sovereignty, but one would think that if this article ran in the paper and it is something the gas station owners have been pushing, there is at least a plausible possibility that this could be done. I don’t know.

  3. I would favor a tax on all foods again. I do not want the State to increase their GRT margin from 5% to 5.5% because that would be crippling to the municipalities to leverage GRT for local needs.

  4. “…regardless of whether we ride the Rail Runner or not — we do all benefit from New Mexico’s road system.”

    Roads would be there regardless of automobiles. Mr. Gessing you’re grasping at straws for your beloved automotive socialism.

  5. In 2000 or thereabout, Governor Johnson called or threatened to call a special session to address the Indian reservation gas tax issue. Apparently, it’s still not been corrected. There are ways to collect taxes on the reservations. For example, even though the casinos are on “sovereign” land, they pay a fee to NM for the privilege of running gaming. If we were to enable driver-less autos (see http://csfreshink.com/profiles/blogs/driverless-cars-closer-than-we) we could greatly increase auto traffic with a concomitant increase in fuel tax revenue. With better use of our roads we would need fewer of them and we would collect more tax with less expense.

  6. Hmmm – There are no refineries on Sandia Pueblo, so they must purchase the wholesale gasoline and diesel fuel somewhere off tribal lands. Why not levy fuel taxes at the fuel depot instead of at the pumps? Non-highway fuel consumers could file for a rebate when they do their tax returns.

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