New Mexico: a good state to be poor!

A few weeks ago I wrote in this space about the misguided approach of our legislators and many activists that influence them to taxation. Often they focus on “progressive” taxation rather than overall tax burdens or pro-business tax policy. This session was no different.

According to a new report from Wallethub, New Mexico is “succeeding.” In fact, it is the 6th-best state overall for the “poor” to pay taxes. Click on map below.

Interestingly, this is one area where blue and red states don’t really follow any particular pattern. Deep red Alaska is the very best state to be poor while Montana is 2nd. Blue Illinois is the worst state to be poor and blue Washington and Hawaii follow.

In a separate chart the best state for wealthy taxpayers follows a somewhat more consistent pattern with zero income states being the best places to be. Interestingly, despite New Mexico’s massive oil and gas wealth and surpluses in recent years, both the middle class (middle column) and upper class (right column) pay higher than average taxes as a percent of their incomes while the poor pay the 6th-lowest.

It’s time for New Mexico to reduce taxes for everyone including middle and upper class taxpayers!