KRWG Article and response: New Mexico’s tax (and subsidy) systems undeniably need an overhaul

Recently, I co-authored a piece with national tax leader Grover Norquist arguing that tax hikes should NOT be enacted when the New Mexico Legislature returns in January.

A response ran at KRWG, the Las Cruces public television station. While the author claimed the mantle of supporting tax reform, he made the unfounded claim that, “For over 50 years, conservative policy proposals have been reducing taxes and regulations, destroying unions, and building wealth for billionaires on the backs of average workers.”

This left-wing talking point belies the fact that New Mexico’s tax and government systems do have big problems. The Rio Grande Foundation responded with this article which in part argued,

While we know that the K-12 system is going to require a lot of money to open in a post-COVID environment, the Gov. and Legislature kept $300 of the $320 million in the FY 2021 budget that was allocated to fund a brand new pre-K fund. The Legislature also spent $5 million for the Gov.’s “free” college programs and did not touch massive film subsidies which the Legislative Finance Committee says cost $150 million annually.

And this issue is something that all New Mexicans should agree on. While exemptions and deductions are definitely open to question, film subsidies are tax dollars collected by the State and then sent to Hollywood film studios. This is awful public policy and should be ended at once.

Tax and subsidy reform are long-overdue in New Mexico. Taking more money from hard-working New Mexicans in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is simply not the right way to solve this problem.

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