Hike New Mexico’s Property Taxes!

It’s the most hated tax in America. That’s why New Mexico needs more of it.

The state’s constitution limits the mill rate that may be applied to real and personal property. And in 1981, the “Big Mac” tax shift made the “property tax no longer a source of public school funding and [required] public school operations to be funded almost entirely by the state’s general fund.”

This week’s Tax Foundation map explores one consequence of New Mexico’s eschewment of the property tax. The mean effective rate on owner-occupied housing in the Land of Enchantment is one of the lowest in the nation:


Good news? Maybe not. Economist Caroline Hoxby has “consistently found evidence that both students and taxpayers are better off under locally based systems of school funding and school control.”

The Northeast gets a lot of policies wrong, but one of the few sound strategies its states follow is local funding, and thus local control, of government schools. And the property tax, which is paid in annual or biannual installments, often motivates those it impacts to demand more from educrats.

A proposal: Bring the property tax back to New Mexico in a significant way, financed by cuts in the tax rates on personal income and gross receipts.

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6 Replies to “Hike New Mexico’s Property Taxes!”

  1. As a transplant from Illinois, I can tell you that local school funding results in wider school choice and competition among municipalities in educational quality. The Chicago suburb where I lived had a long history of support for quality schools, and this attracted residents and economic development.

  2. Sounds like robbing Peter to pay Paul. Bottom line: a tax by any other name is still a tax. Do non property owmers pay property tax and, if they do not, will they receive the same privileges and voice as those who do pay the property tax? What a great move for the pro entitlement movement!

  3. Low property taxes are one of the last damn things we’ve got to attract retirees. Raise them so we can spend more money on a dysfunctional education system? I think not. I see PLENTY of local input on education here in Silver City.

  4. I also came from Illinois….Bolingbrook. I only saw endless increases in my property taxes and little improvement in results from our schools. Chicago politicians always complained that the rich north shore suburbs had better schools and wanted more tax dollars…even though the Chicago schools spent more per student than most of the suburbs. The only thing that would improve Illinois schools would be school choice vouchers. Legislation was proposed by state senator Meeks from Chicago to allow for school choice vouchers on a limited scale in the worst neighborhoods in Chicago, but the Democrats and their teachers union allies worked to see that it was torpedoed in Springfield. I’m glad we moved to Albuquerque and I don’t want to see New Mexico depend on property taxes primarily to fund education.

  5. I do hate property taxes. Every one sends their kids to schools but only property owners pay for it. It is like the government is collecting rent and allowing you to live there. All funding for government should be sales tax, excise tax or tariff. That way every one pays or saves at their own rate. Even illegally gotten money gets taxed when the criminals spend it.

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